The Supreme Court urged to take up content moderation cases by the Biden administration. The briefs in question ask the SCOTUS to review a pair of lawsuits that are challenging moderation laws in the states of Florida and Texas.
The Supreme Court Content Moderation Cases
The Biden administration has just recently requested the US Supreme Court to review Florida and Texas laws that are restricting how social media companies such as Facebook moderate the content that is posted by users on their platforms.
In briefs that were filed on Monday, the US solicitor general reportedly urged the court to take up a pair of lawsuits this is led by the tech trade group NetChoice. Both the states of Florida and Texas recently passed laws that made it illegal for large social platforms and firms to suspend or punish users, thus citing long-standing allegations that major platforms in the social networking industry are biased against conservatives. A series of temporary injunctions have however left the future of these laws in question in limbo, and the briefs of Monday have now added a new pressure on the Supreme Court to quickly resolve the suits.
Content of the Briefs
“The platforms’ content-moderation activities are protected by the First Amendment, and the content-moderation and individualized-explanation requirements impermissibly burden those protected activities,” the briefs reveal. “The Court should not, however, take up NetChoice’s separate contentions that the laws’ general-disclosure provisions violate the First Amendment and that the laws were motivated by viewpoint discrimination.” That simply means that it will not be supporting overturning a Florida court decision that enables transparency-focused portions of the rules to stand.
Biden Administration Requested For Input
The court has however requested the input of the Biden administration in the month of January.
“The Solicitor General’s brief underscores that both Texas and Florida’s laws are unconstitutional and that the Court should review our cases,” director of litigation at NetChoice, Chris Marchese, in a statement on Monday stated. “We urge the Court to strike down Texas and Florida’s laws and reaffirm that the Constitution prohibits the government from controlling online speech.”
Arguments of the Administration’s Briefs
The briefs of the administration argue that the decision of a platform to moderate content is reportedly protected under the First Amendment.
“Indeed, given the torrent of content created on the platforms, one of their central functions is to make choices about which content will be displayed to which users, in which form and which order,” the briefs reveal. “The act of culling and curating the content that users see is inherently expressive, even if the speech that is collected is almost wholly provided by users.”
It is very much likely that the Supreme Court will be taking up at least one of these cases in question.
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