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Florida brings battle over social media regulation to the Supreme Court



The Florida’s attorney general on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to decide whether states have the right to regulate how social media companies moderate content on their services, a move that sends one of the most controversial debates of the internet age to the country’s highest court.

In the petition, the state asks the court to determine whether the First Amendment prohibits a state from requiring that platforms host certain communications and also whether the states can require companies to provide an explanation to users when they remove their posts. The petition sets up the most serious test to date of assertions that Silicon Valley companies are unlawfully censoring conservative viewpoints.

The petition is a response to a decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year that major provisions of a Florida social media law violated the Constitution’s First Amendment. The law would bar companies from banning politicians from their services.

The Florida attorney general incorporated in the petition a recent conservative victory in the 5th Circuit of Appeals, which upheld a Texas law that bars companies from removing posts based on a person’s political ideology. The Florida petition says the circuit courts’ decisions are in conflict, and the Supreme Court must resolve those differences.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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