March 24, 2023

Florida wants the Supreme Court to step in after an appeals court rejected a key part of a state law designed to prevent social media companies from freely making content moderation decisions.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody File a petition Wednesday The state’s Supreme Court was asked to step in on the issue after two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings.

In Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that it was unconstitutional for the state to block social media companies from issuing bans on politicians.Although the court knocked down Most of Florida’s law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit just persist in A parallel Texas law called House Bill 20 ruled that it did not violate the First Amendment rights of social media sites.

In Florida, Senate Bill 7072 prohibits platforms from banning or deprioritizing candidates for state office and news outlets above a certain size threshold. The law brings lawsuits against social media companies when users or countries determine that they are moderating content or user accounts in ways that violate the spirit of the law.

Unlike Texas, a court reviewing Florida law found that social media companies fall under First Amendment jurisdiction when making decisions about moderating content.

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

Netchoice, an industry group representing Meta, Google, Twitter and other tech companies, projected confidence The Supreme Court will settle the state-level battle over content moderation in its favor, although it’s hard to predict how things will eventually turn out.

“We agree that the U.S. Supreme Court in Florida should hear this case…” said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel at NetChoice. “We look forward to seeing Florida in court and upholding lower court decisions. We have the Constitution and more than a century of precedent.”

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