OAN’s Roy Francis
1:47 PM – Tuesday, August 15, 2023
President Joe Biden’s administration urged the United States Supreme Court to look into the Republican-backed laws regarding social media that were implemented in Texas and Florida.
The laws which were passed in Florida and Texas in 2021 are meant to prevent big social media platforms from censoring content due to viewpoints. The Biden administration has objected against the laws, and asked the Supreme Court to review them.
U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote in the brief that the platforms’ activities in regards to content-moderation “are protected by the First Amendment.”
“The platforms’ content-moderation activities are protected by the First Amendment,” Prelogar wrote. “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.”
According to the brief, Florida’s law prohibits social media sites from de-platforming public office candidates. It also allows the state to fine the site that breaks the law $250,000 per day.
Meanwhile the Texas law prohibits platforms with more than 50 million American users from viewpoint censorship.
The laws were implemented by the two states after many Republicans have said that major social media platforms have a political agenda and that they have been discriminating against right-wing users by censorship and quietly stifling their speech.
Two federal appeals courts have reached two opposing decisions regarding the laws. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit agreed and sided with Texas, meanwhile the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction to block the law in Florida from going into effect.
The social media companies have claimed that without their editorial capabilities, their websites would be filled with spam, bullying, extremism, and hate speech.
If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the cases, its decision would shape the future of how social media companies operate and what Americans are able to see on social media platforms.
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