ATLANTA — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit today blocked a key part of a Florida law that limits the power of social media companies to moderate speech on their platforms. At the same time, the court allowed most of the law’s disclosure requirements to go into effect. In its broad outline, the Eleventh Circuit’s opinion tracks an amicus brief that the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed with the court late last year.

The following can be attributed to Scott Wilkens, senior staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University:

“This is a well-reasoned decision and a victory for free speech. The court rightly rejects Florida’s argument that the platforms lack First Amendment rights, but it also properly rejects the platforms’ argument that the First Amendment insulates them from all regulation. Hopefully, this careful and persuasive ruling will be influential with other courts.” 

Read today’s decision here.

Read the Knight Institute’s brief here.

In April of this year, the Knight Institute filed an amicus brief in a similar case challenging Texas’s social media law. After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit allowed the law to go into effect, the social media companies filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the Court to stay the Texas law while the social media companies’ appeal makes its way through the courts. A decision on the emergency appeal is pending. Read more about that case here.

Lawyers on today’s case, in addition to Wilkens, include Jameel Jaffer and Alex Abdo for the Knight Institute.

For more information, contact: Adriana Lamirande at [email protected]