Florida escalates the fight over a controversial social media law to the Supreme Court • TechCrunch

After an appeals court overturned key sections of state law designed to stop social media companies freely make content moderation decisionsFlorida wants the Supreme Court to consider.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed on Wednesday asked the highest court in the country to delve into the matter after two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings.

In Florida, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit determined that it was unconstitutional for the state to prevent social media companies from issuing bans on political figures. While the court struck down most Florida laws, the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit only featured a parallel law in Texas called House bill 20ruled that it did not violate First Amendment rights on social networking sites.

In Florida, Senate Bill 7072 prohibits platforms that ban or disqualify candidates for state office as well as news outlets above a certain size threshold. The law opens social media companies to lawsuits when users or the state determine that they have censored content or user accounts in a way that violates the spirit of the law.

Unlike in Texas, a court that reviewed Florida law found that social media companies followed the First Amendment when making decisions about content moderation.

“We conclude that the content moderation practices of social media platforms – allowing, removing, prioritizing and disabling users and posts – constitute ‘speech’ in the sense of First Amendment,” the jury wrote in the court’s decision.

Netchoice, an industry group representing Meta, Google, Twitter and other tech companies, expected confidence that the Supreme Court will settle the state battle over content moderation in its favor, although how things will play out in the end is difficult to predict.

“We agree with Florida that the Supreme Court of the United States should hear this case…” said NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel Carl Szabo. “We look forward to seeing Florida in Court and the lower court decision upheld. We have a Constitution and more than a century of precedent on our side.”

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