This year, the Supreme Court will hear a critical case that could influence the idea of freedom of expression in the digital age.
This case originates from Florida and is backed by President Donald Trump and 16 additional states. Specifically, it will decide if individual states can regulate content on social media platforms by banning online censorship.
Read the arguments the sates make in the case here.
On one side of the case, lawyers will argue that individual citizens have the right to exercise their freedom of expression online. On the other side, lawyers claim that social media companies have a say about only allowing certain forms of speech.
While this conflict has been brewing for years, it gained widespread attention a few years ago when Trump’s voice was blocked on social media platforms.
In addition, a story about Hunter Biden’s laptop was not allowed to be shared, and select comments on COVID’s origins and treatments were blocked.
Republicans and conservatives condemned platforms for silencing voices online. Democrats took the opposing stance by citing social media was circulating misinformation and hate speech.
Most recently, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has brought the issue into the limelight once again by reinstating many of the accounts that were previously banned by Twitter, including Donald Trump’s account.
In May 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida Senate Bill 7072 into law to dictate social media platforms’ policy transparency and to guarantee user access.
Under this law, platforms could be fined up to $250,000 daily for banning or not consistently applying policies to political candidates. However, the 11th Circuit of the US Court of Appeals blocked sections of that bill. The court ruled that the government is not permitted to impede the speech and expression of both private people and entities.
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