Kagan: Florida social media law seems like “classic First Amendment violation”

Enlarge / The Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC, in May 2023. (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto)

The US Supreme Court today heard oral arguments on Florida and Texas state laws that impose limits on how social media companies can moderate user-generated content.

The Florida law prohibits large social media sites like Facebook and Twitter (aka X) from banning politicians and says they must “apply censorship, deplatforming, and shadow banning standards in a consistent manner among its users on the platform.” The Texas statute prohibits large social media companies from moderating posts based on a user’s “viewpoint.” The laws were supported by Republican officials from 20 other states.

The tech industry says both laws violate the companies’ First Amendment right to use editorial discretion in deciding what kinds of user-generated content to allow on their platforms and how to present that content. The Supreme Court will decide whether the laws can be enforced while the industry lawsuits against Florida and Texas continue in lower courts.

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