Florida mulls resolution over social media regulation row

The state of Florida has called on the US’s highest court to settle the dispute over social media regulation, and the Washington Post reports that the state’s attorney general has petitioned the Supreme Court to determine whether there was a violation of free speech rights under the First Amendment, when blocking the platforms social media by letter, and whether they can ask for clarification when platforms remove posts.

Also, in presenting its case, Florida argued that the court needed to address the contradictory rulings, while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a law in Texas allowing users to sue social networks for alleged censorship, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Florida was in violation of the First Amendment with key parts of the law It prevents internet companies from banning politicians, Engadget reported.

Supporters of Florida and Texas laws have argued that measures are necessary to combat alleged censorship of conservative views on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Lawmakers have emphasized that social networks are as common carriers as phone providers, and are therefore required to transmit all illegal speech.

Meanwhile, companies believe such laws are unconstitutional and will force them to host hate speech, hostile government propaganda, and spam. They say the constitutional amendment is meant to protect against government censorship, and that private outlets have the right to decide what they host.

It is not clear how the Supreme Court will rule, while conservative justices dominate the legislature, the court approved an emergency request to suspend the Texas law before it was passed in the Fifth Circuit last week.

The Supreme Court has yet to issue a final ruling on the matter, and a decision in favor of Florida could also help liberal-leaning states with their proposed bills that would require greater transparency for hate speech and threats.

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