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A federal appeals court upheld the validity of a Texas social-media law that companies like Twitter Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. say won't allow them to block hate speech and extremism.

The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Friday lifted a lower court injunction that had blocked the law from taking effect.

The Texas law bars social-media platforms with more than 50 million users from discriminating on the basis of viewpoint. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other Republicans say the law is needed to protect conservative voices from being silenced. Tech groups say the measure unconstitutionally bars platforms from removing neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan screeds or Russian propaganda about its invasion of Ukraine.

"We reject the platforms' attempt to extract a freewheeling censorship right from the Constitution's free speech guarantee," a panel of judges on the appeals court said. "The platforms are not newspapers. Their censorship is not speech."

The judges remanded the case back to the lower court for further proceedings, consistent with their opinion.