First Amendment lawyer Lyrissa Lidsky weighs in on a recently upheld social media censorship law in Texas that would bar platforms with more than 50 million users from removing content with political viewpoints. A different circuit court in Florida filed a preliminary injunction against a similar law. Since both federal appeals courts disagreed, only the Supreme Court can decide if the platforms have a First Amendment right to censor, or if they don’t.
Disinformation is more pernicious and widespread today than at any other point in history, largely because of social media and the Internet. For instance, it is now widely known—and verified by the U.S. intelligence community—that Russians interfered with the 2016 presidential election.
On July 7th, former President Donald Trump filed three separate class action lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s YouTube, claiming that the social media platforms censor him and other conservatives.
The Department of Justice has dropped lawsuit against former National Security Adviser John Bolton over his memoir, “The Room Where It Happened.” The agency originally claimed the memoir contained confidential information, and had requested a court order blocking the publisher from distributing copies of the book.
During the pandemic, as hospitals struggled to keep up with the surge of COVID patients, managers clamped down on staffers who spoke to the press about their work conditions. Young's case could pave the way for other hospital workers to push back against official policies that prohibit them from speaking to the press.
For much of our nation’s history, the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech did not clearly protect art from government censorship. Over the course of the 20th century, however, courts gradually extended speech protections to a broader range of artistic expression, including film, dance, theater, and fine arts. Today, public officials can censor art only in limited circumstances. What are those circumstances, and what protection does the First Amendment provide?
On May 24th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that aims to curb alleged censorship by social media platforms. The new law, SB 7072, levies financial penalties on social media companies for deplatforming candidates for public office, and affords users the opportunity to sue for alleged censorship.
How do cultural attitudes affect our ability to speak freely? Join us on April 21st at 12:00pm EST for our next #FAWPublicForum “It’s a Matter of (Public) Opinion,” where we will discuss current controversies that highlight conflicting attitudes about the appropriate bounds of free speech.