The state’s law is needed to make ‘platforms state their censorship policies and apply them consistently,’ brief says
Former President Donald Trump is urging the Supreme Court to hear a case from Florida that asks the court to decide if states have the power to regulate how social media companies moderate content on their platforms.
Last week, 16 states also asked the high court to take up the case.
The case is important because it pits the right of individual Americans to freely express themselves online against the right of social media platforms to make editorial decisions about content.
Republicans and conservatives have complained for years about being censored by the platforms. They were furious when platforms banned Trump in January 2021, blocked a New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s laptop, and silenced dissenting opinions about the origins of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and on treatments for the disease it causes.
Democrats and liberals, on the other hand, say the platforms don’t do enough to suppress so-called hate speech and alleged misinformation.
Trump filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Florida’s appeal of a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit that blocked portions of Senate Bill 7072, which requires policy transparency and protects user access to social media platforms.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed the law on May 24, 2021, saying it makes sure “real Floridians across the Sunshine State—are guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites.” DeSantis is seeking reelection on Nov. 8.
“Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela. If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.”
Under the law, platforms are forbidden to ban political candidates and must make public and consistently apply their moderation rules. Booting candidates can lead to fines of up to $250,000 a day.