June 9, 2023

Florida wants the Supreme Court to weigh in, after an appeals court struck down key parts of a state law designed to prevent social media companies from freely making content control decisions.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a petition on Wednesday The nation’s highest court was asked to take up the issue after two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings.

In Florida, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that it was unconstitutional for the state to bar social media companies from issuing bans on political figures. At this time in the court Dr to hurt Most of Florida law, the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit only upheld A parallel law in Texas, known as House Bill 20, ruled that it did not violate the First Amendment rights of social media sites.

In Florida, Senate Bill 7072 prohibits or disqualifies candidates for state office as well as bans news outlets above a certain size threshold. The law would open social media companies to lawsuits when users or states determine that they regulate content or user accounts in a way that violates the spirit of the law.

Unlike Texas, the court that examined Florida law found that social media companies fall under the First Amendment when deciding whether to regulate content.

“We conclude that the content-modification activities of social media platforms — allowing, removing, prioritizing and banning users and posts — constitute ‘speech’ within the meaning of the First Amendment,” the panel of judges wrote in the court’s ruling.

NetChoice, an industry group representing Meta, Google, Twitter and other technology companies, Projective confidence The Supreme Court will resolve the state-level fight over content moderation in its favor, though it’s ultimately hard to predict how the situation will shake out.

“We agree with Florida that the U.S. Supreme Court should hear this case…” said NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel Carl Szabo. “We look forward to seeing Florida in court and upholding the lower court’s decision. We have the Constitution and more than a century of precedent on our side.”

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