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Subreddit r/PoliticalHumor Requires All Posts to Call Texas Gov. Greg Abbott a 'Little Piss Baby'

Gov. Greg Abbott  is making some Reddit users pretty angry.
Gov. Greg Abbott is making some Reddit users pretty angry. Gage Skidmore
Moderators of the subreddit r/PoliticalHumor have a bone to pick with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and boy are they picking it.

In protest of a new Texas law, HB 20, that requires social media companies to host views the companies consider objectionable, Reddit user BlatantConservative wrote that moderators now require every user contributing to the subreddit to include the phrase “Greg Abbott is a little piss baby” in their posts – or face a ban.

Passed last year, HB 20 permits citizens or the Texas Attorney General's office to file suit against social media companies for removing content based on the views it expresses.

A federal district court had blocked HB 20, which Abbott signed into law last year, from being implemented. But earlier this month, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law is constitutional.

Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have championed HB 20 as a strike against what they call “censorship” by social media companies. After the appellate court's ruling, Paxton said in a news release that he’d secured a “massive victory” for free speech.

The Subreddit post, titled “We’re messing with Texas,” started: “Until further notice, all comments posted to this subreddit must contain the phrase ‘Greg Abbott is a little piss baby.’”

“Obviously, there are all sorts of real-world problems with it, the obvious ones being forced to host white nationalist ideology or insurrectionist ideation,” the post said.

"Greg Abbott is a little piss baby." –r/PoliticalHumor

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“We realized what a ripe situation this is, so we're going to flagrantly break this law,” BlatantConservative added. “Partially to raise awareness of the bullshit of it all, but mainly because we find it funny. Also, we like this Constitution thing. Seems like it has some good ideas.”

Closing out, the post said: “To be clear, the mod team is of sound mind and body, and we are explicitly censoring the viewpoint that Greg Abbott isn't a little piss baby. Anyone denying the fact that Abbott is a little piss baby will be banned from the subreddit.”

TechDirt originally reported about the Subreddit rule.

Before the 5th Circuit’s ruling, NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, which represent Facebook, Twitter and Google, have argued that HB 20 violates the First Amendment rights of social media companies, Politico reported earlier this month.

In effect, Netchoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association argued that social media companies could curate content much like a newspaper does.

But the appellate justices disagreed in the 2-1 ruling, with Edith Jones calling that argument “ludicrous” and Andrew Oldham writing in the opinion, “Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say.”

As of Thursday, the post had racked up more than 2,000 comments, with many removed for apparently not including the phrase, "Greg Abbott is a little piss baby."
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Patrick Strickland is the former news editor at the Dallas Observer. He's worked as a senior reporter at Al Jazeera English. His reporting has appeared in the New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Politico EU and The New Republic, among others.

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