WASHINGTON–Today, the social media platforms supported the state of Florida’s request that the U.S. Supreme Court review the constitutionality of Florida’s social media law. Both Florida and Texas passed similar laws regulating the social media platforms, and the platforms are challenging those laws in court. The challenge to the Florida law is the first to reach the Supreme Court. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits. Those courts issued rulings that are deeply divided on whether the First Amendment allows the government to tell social media companies what content they may or may not publish.

The following can be attributed to Scott Wilkens, senior counsel at the Knight First Amendment Institute. 

“The First Amendment principles at stake in this case could not be more important. Florida and the social media companies have now both said that this case belongs in the Supreme Court. If it accepts the case, the Court should make clear that social media companies have a First Amendment right to decide what they will and will not publish, free from government control. The Court should also clarify that the companies’ First Amendment rights don’t preclude the government from enforcing reasonable transparency regulations requiring the companies to disclose how they moderate user content. Such disclosures can play an essential role in protecting free speech online.”

Read the social media companies’ response to Florida’s cert petition here.

Read the Knight Institute’s Eleventh Circuit amicus brief here.

Read the Knight Institute’s Fifth Circuit amicus brief here 

For more information, contact: Adriana Lamiranda, [email protected]