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Florida escalates the struggle over a controversial social media regulation to the Supreme Courtroom • TechCrunch


After an appeals court docket struck down key parts of a state regulation designed to stop social media corporations from freely making content material moderation choices, Florida desires the Supreme Courtroom to weigh in.

Florida Lawyer Normal Ashley Moody filed a petition Wednesday asking the very best court docket within the land to wade into the difficulty after two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings.

In Florida, the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the eleventh Circuit decided that it was unconstitutional for the state to stop social media corporations from issuing bans to political figures. Whereas the court docket struck down a lot of the Florida regulation, the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the fifth Circuit simply upheld a parallel regulation in Texas often known as Home Invoice 20, ruling that it didn’t violate social media websites’ First Modification rights.

In Florida, Senate Invoice 7072 prohibits platforms for banning or deprioritizing candidates for state workplace in addition to information shops above a sure measurement threshold. The regulation would open social media corporations as much as lawsuits when customers or the state decide that they moderated content material or person accounts in a approach that violated the spirit of the regulation.

In contrast to in Texas, the court docket that examined the Florida regulation discovered that social media corporations fell below the First Modification with regards to making choices about moderating content material.

“We conclude that social media platforms’ content-moderation actions — allowing, eradicating, prioritizing, and deprioritizing customers and posts — represent ‘speech’ inside the which means of the First Modification,” the panel of judges wrote within the court docket ruling.

Netchoice, an business group representing Meta, Google, Twitter and different tech corporations, projected confidence that the Supreme Courtroom would resolve the state-level struggle over content material moderation in its favor, although how issues will shake out is finally tough to foretell.

“We agree with Florida that the U.S. Supreme Courtroom ought to hear this case…” NetChoice Vice President and Normal Counsel Carl Szabo mentioned. “We stay up for seeing Florida in Courtroom and having the decrease court docket’s determination upheld. Now we have the Structure and over a century of precedent on our aspect.”



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