Florida escalates the battle over a controversial social media legislation to the Supreme Courtroom • TechCrunch

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

Florida Legal professional Basic Ashley Moody filed a petition Wednesday asking the very best court docket within the land to wade into the problem 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 firms from issuing bans to political figures. Whereas the court docket struck down many of the Florida legislation, the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the fifth Circuit simply upheld a parallel legislation in Texas often called 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 retailers above a sure measurement threshold. The legislation would open social media firms as much as lawsuits when customers or the state decide that they moderated content material or consumer accounts in a means that violated the spirit of the legislation.

Not like in Texas, the court docket that examined the Florida legislation discovered that social media firms fell beneath 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’ throughout 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 firms, projected confidence that the Supreme Courtroom would resolve the state-level battle 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 Basic Counsel Carl Szabo mentioned. “We look ahead to seeing Florida in Courtroom and having the decrease court docket’s resolution upheld. Now we have the Structure and over a century of precedent on our aspect.”

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