The law has struggled to keep up with advancing technology. Nonetheless, that doesn’t stop representatives from attempting to bring order to the online frontier. Soon, the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on social media censorship legislation. This is how it could transform the internet as we know it…
Existing Social Media Censorship Laws
This year has been momentous for courts determining the digital rules of engagement. (See the lawsuit two authors filed against ChatGPT in July.)
But, we must know the current laws before we can fully understand the impact of the possible changes…
AS IT STANDS, PLATFORMS ARE CONSIDERED “PRIVATE COMPANIES.” SO, SOCIAL MEDIA HAS A CERTAIN DEGREE OF EDITORIAL CENSORSHIP.
The YouTube Community Guidelines are a good illustration of this.
When someone creates a YT account, they must check off that they agree to these terms and conditions. That gives YouTube the right to remove the content or the user at any time.
Yet, the rules are generic and can be interpreted differently by different people.
ADDITIONALLY, YOUTUBE’S ALGORITHM “HIDES” SOMEONE’S CONTENT FROM OTHERS WHO ARE IN VIOLATION OF THIS CODE.
Creators on the platform have expressed that their reach has been limited unfairly because of this. The term for this practice is called shadowbanning.
Now, two states are trying to abolish or restrict this social media censorship, and here’s why…
Texas and Florida Take on “Shadowbanning”
On September 29th, the Supreme Court began proceedings to decide on social media law in Florida and Texas.
BOTH STATES WANT CLARIFICATION ON HOW THE PLATFORMS DECIDE WHAT TO CENSOR. ALSO, THEY WANT TO ENSURE FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS UPHELD ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
While their goals are similar, the Lone Star and the Sunshine States are taking different paths to get there…
Florida Wants a Fair “Public Square”
The proposed Florida legislature involves public figures — those running for political office. For example, when President Donald Trump was banned from Twitter.
THE REGULATION ALSO PUSHES FOR EQUALITY IN THE INFORMATION PRESENTED TO USERS.
This is in contrast to the current system where you are shown content based on your preferences. The high court has to decide if this is social media censorship or do they just want us to keep scrolling…
Any Political View Should Do — According to Texas
The Texas law in question applies to the common man as opposed to those in power.
This statute aims to prevent social media outlets from shadowbanning users based for their political views.
Texas’s claim is a large reason that it’s necessary to hear testimony on how these online corporations moderate. Yet, there is another issue if people are allowed to post anything they want and it’s shown to everyone…
Is it Social Media Censorship or Safety?
At the end of the day, lawyers for the platforms contest that they are not making biased judgments. They claim that they are trying to protect their users from misinformation, hate speech, and sensitive content.
Data & Society is a nonprofit organization that studies the Internet. Robyn Caplan, a senior researcher, said this on the situation:
“THE KEY TO THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET IS BEING ABLE TO STRIKE THAT BALANCE BETWEEN PRESERVING THAT PARTICIPATORY NATURE AND INCREASING ACCESS TO GOOD INFORMATION.”
For now, the debate on what is and isn’t censorship on social media rages on…
The U.S. Supreme Court will make its ruling on this case in early 2024.
Disclaimer: This content is intended to be used for educational and informational purposes only. Individual results may vary. You should perform your own due diligence and seek the advice from a professional to verify any information on our website or materials that you are relying upon if you choose to make an investment or business decision. Investment, real estate, and business involve great risk and there is no guarantee of performance or results.We are not attorneys, investment advisers, accountants, tax professionals or financial advisers and any of the content presented should not be taken as professional advice. We recommend seeking the advice of a financial professional before you invest, and we accept no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage you may incur.