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May 13, 2022

Fifth Circuit Upholds State of Texas’ Content Moderation Ban

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling to strike down the State of Texas’ controversial statute that created a private right of action for anyone who thinks they were banned from a social media platform because of their “viewpoint.” With the Texas law back in effect, platforms with more than 50 million users, like Twitter & YouTube, must notify users in Texas when they remove their content and give them a chance to appeal. If the user isn’t happy with the decision, they can sue. Experts are now waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will take up the case.

In the meantime, Elon Musk Tweeted earlier today that his acquisition of Twitter is on hold as he seeks to verify that fewer than 5% of its accounts are fake. And the number of conservative users who re-joined Twitter after Musk announced he’d be acquiring the company skyrocketed, according to the Washington Post.

State of Virginia Lifts Facial Recognition Ban

The State of Virginia announced that it will be lifting its ban on facial recognition technology. Many states began implementing a facial recognition ban after a study by the Algorithmic Justice League found facial recognition software disproportionately misidentified Black people. Reuters reports that many jurisdictions, including New Orleans, are lifting their facial recognition bans as well, saying accuracy has improved.

Sony Playstation CEO Triggers Pro-Choice Staffers Over With ‘Lighthearted’ Abortion Email

Sony Playstation CEO Jim Ryan sent a company-wide email requesting staff to respect differences of opinion regarding the leak of the draft Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In the same email, Ryan celebrated his two cats’ first birthday, shared their birthday cakes, and joked that they may someday want a dog. One employee told a Bloomberg reporter that they have never been so mad about a cat's birthday before. 

Apple Memo Shows Company’s Opposition to Unions

Motherboard reports that Apple is circulating a set of talking points to store managers to help them push back against unionization efforts by retail employees. The memo warns employees that joining a union may affect their career prospects, flexibility, and paid time off. In recent weeks, Apple Stores in Atlanta, New York City, and Towson, Maryland have filed for union elections, becoming the first Apple stores to do so.