Florida is asking the highest court in the US to resolve the dispute over the regulation of speech on social media. washington post grades The state attorney general asked the Supreme Court to determine whether or not states are violating First Amendment free speech rights by requiring social media platforms to host speech they would otherwise block, and whether they can require explanations when platforms remove posts.
In presenting its case, Florida argued that the court needed to address conflicting rulings. While a 5th Circuit of Appeals court upheld a Texas law that allows users to sue social networks for alleged censorship, an 11th Circuit of Appeals court ruled that Florida was violating the First Amendment with key parts of a law that they prevent Internet companies from banning politicians.
Supporters of the Florida and Texas laws have argued that the measures are necessary to combat alleged censorship of conservative views on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Lawmakers have asserted that social networks are common carriers, like phone providers, and therefore are required to transmit all speech that would not otherwise be illegal. Meanwhile, companies believe laws like these are unconstitutional and would force them to harbor hate speech, hostile government propaganda, and spam. They say the constitutional amendment is meant to protect against government censorship and that private media have the right to decide what they host.
It is unclear how the Supreme Court will rule. Although conservative justices dominate the legislative body, the court granted an emergency request that suspended the Texas law before it was passed. confirmed in the 5th Circuit last week. The high court has yet to make a final ruling on the matter, and a decision in Florida’s favor could also help more liberal-leaning states with their own proposed bills that require greater transparency for hate speech and threats. .
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