Members’ updatesJanuary 4, 2023PrivacyRules US member update: A Supreme Court decision could limit censorship by social media platforms

PrivacyRules US law firm member Frost Brown Todd published an analysis on a soon to come US Supreme Court decision that should impact censorship by social media platforms. In the analysis we can read that recent laws passed in Texas and Florida have attempted to regulate what they each define as “social media platforms” as common carriers. Common carriers are permitted to have additional restrictions imposed by the government due to the general need of the public to have access to such services and the monopolistic control common carriers have over their operation. By treating the platforms as common carriers, Texas and Florida laws attempt to regulate the platforms’ content moderation as censorship of user’s online speech. The application of the common carrier laws to modern platforms are not settled.

A relevant question is, what type of service provider could be a common carrier, and what type of speech remains a common carrier’s expression under the First Amendment? If the Supreme Court grants write of certiorari and holds that “social media platforms” are common carriers, service providers would be severely limited from removing third-party content after it is posted.

Read the Frost Brown Todd analysis to find about the impact of the possible decision scenarios over your business.