SCOTUS to Hear Social Media Censorship Cases

    SCOTUS to Hear Social Media Censorship Cases
    Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on Monday began hearing two cases regarding laws in Florida and Texas that attempt to block social media companies from banning accounts and restricting political speech. A ruling is expected by June.

    • The two plaintiffs — the trade groups NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association — are challenging a Florida law prohibiting the permanent banning of political candidates and a Texas law prohibiting any bans based on viewpoint.

    The Spin

    Left narrative

    The First Amendment applies to both individuals and companies, which is why social media platforms have a right to restrict harmful speech that could hurt their business — such as Nazi or terrorist propaganda. This is also a nonissue, as several new platforms have emerged specifically meant to support the right-wing ecosystem. Twitter, too, has not only become X but also a safe haven for far-right figures. No government should be allowed to dictate how certain platforms curate their websites.

    Right narrative

    The issue at hand has to do with being a common carrier versus a publisher. While common carriers such as telecommunications companies have no control over what their customers say over the phone, they're also not liable for what is said. Publishers — like newspapers — have complete control over what content they promote, but they can also be sued for liability. Big Tech has enjoyed the luxury of both for years, and all Texas and Florida are asking is for them to pick one.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 25% chance that there will be fewer than six conservative SCOTUS justices on Jan. 20, 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Articles on this story

    Sign up to our daily newsletter