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Radio News: Supreme Court lets social media sites regulate themselves

May 31, 2022 11:33 pm

Jon Brodkin reports at Ars Technica that on May 31 the U.S. Supreme Court over ruled a Texas law banning “censorship” on social media on a 5-4 vote. Amy Coney Barrett, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Brett Kavanaugh, and John Roberts voted to over turn the Texas law, while Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch dissented, and Elena Kagan voted against but did not sign on to Alito's dissent. The Texas law said, "social media platform may not censor a user" based on the user's "viewpoint" and defines "censor" as "block, ban, remove, deplatform, demonetize, de-boost, restrict, deny equal access or visibility to, or otherwise discriminate against expression." The law was largely created because Twitter banned former President Donald Trump. The Texas law, "would have been a disaster for social media users and for public discourse," said John Bergmayer, legal director for consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge. "It would have ordered social media platforms to host and distribute horrific and distasteful content, and to turn a blind eye to hate, abuse, and coordinated misinformation campaigns. The main result of these policies would not be to enhance free speech, but to keep people from speaking by driving them away from toxic platforms." Read more about this story at Ars Technica.