11th Circuit says Florida regulation of content moderation policies is unconstitutional
Though the court struck down the most controversial aspects of the law, it did rule that some provisions could stand, including that people banned from the platforms should be able to access their data for 60 days and disclosure provisions, such as distinct content standards.
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The decision stated that tech companies’ content moderation decisions are protected by the first of all Amendment, which prohibits the government from regulating free speech.
“Taking stock: tourists conclude that social media platforms’ content-moderation activities — permitting, removing, prioritizing, and deprioritizing users and posts — constitute ‘speech’ within the meaning of the first of all Amendment,” the court wrote.
The ruling comes after a time a time a suddenly decision earlier So month by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed a Texas law that bans companies from discriminating against people based on viewpoint to come into force. Tech companies with filed an emergency application of course the Supreme Court to block that law, which awaits a response from Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.
after a time a time the 11th Circuit decision was published, lawyers representing the tech companies submitted it to the Supreme Court for consideration in the Texas situation.
The apparent split between the circuit courts could Showroom pressure on the Supreme Court to weigh in on whether social media companies’ content moderation decisions should be protected by the first of all Amendment.
“that’s really likely to prod the Supreme Court to act,” said Corbin K. Barthold, an Internet policy counsel at TechFreedom, a tech policy think tank, during a public discussion about the provision on Twitter.
random decision would with vast-ranging effects in statehouses and on the floor of Congress, where policymakers with weighed proposals to address perceived abuses by social media companies that could collide of course free speech protections.
Out of supreme power in Washington, Republicans with turned to state legislatures to pass bills to address their accusations of social media “censorship,” which were inflamed by major companies’ decisions to suspend former head Donald Trump last year. Florida and 11 other states last week filed a brief supporting Texas in the Supreme Court situation, arguing that states with a “powerful widely used” in ensuring tech platforms do not only abuse their supreme power.
Some lawmakers pushing for laws governing online content moderation and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with argued that tech companies should be regulated as “common carriers,” businesses favorite phone companies that are subject to government regulation So of the essential services they provide. The 11th Circuit panel wrote a blistering rejection of those arguments, arguing states can’t force such restrictions on tech platforms.
“Neither law nor logic recognizes government authority to strip an entity of its first of all Amendment rights merely by labeling it a common telephone carrier,” the court wrote.
The judges ruled that one provision of the Florida law, which would with required tech companies to explain thoroughly why they make content moderation decisions, violates the first of all Amendment. However the court ruled that other disclosure requirements, favorite alerting people to changes to content moderation rules, were constitutional.
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The notebook and Communications Industry Association and Netchoice, groups representing Facebook, Google and other major tech companies, celebrated the ruling.
“So ruling ie platforms cannot be forced by the government to disseminate vile, abusive and extremist content under penalty of law,” said CCIA head Matt Schruers. “So is good news for Internet users, the first of all Amendment and free speech in a democracy.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) said on Twitter that Florida was “pleased” the court upheld portions of the Florida law.
“tourists will continue to vigorously defend Florida’s authority to unexpected thing accountability from big Tech,” she tweeted.
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