A dozen Philadelphia police officers who sued the city after they were disciplined and fired for offensive Facebook posts can pursue their First Amendment lawsuit against the city, a federal appeals court ruled June 8.
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.
The three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit argued that annoyance and concern that the couple's posts were distracting others and interfering with others commenting wasn’t corroborated by the facts.
On December 1st, a federal court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction against Texas’ social media law, HB 20, for violating platforms’ First Amendment right to moderate the third-party content they disseminate. "HB 20 prohibits virtually all content moderation, the very tool that social media platforms employ to make their platforms safe, useful, and enjoyable for users," U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman wrote.
Collin College, a community college in McKinney, Texas is being sued by a former professor for violating her free speech and assembly rights. In a lawsuit filed on September 22nd in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division, Suzanne Jones alleges that Collin College administrators pushed her out for criticizing the school’s COVID-19 response, and in retaliation for two previous incidents in 2017 and 2020.
Two Internet trade associations are suing Texas and its Attorney General Ken Paxton over a recent law that regulates social media companies’ ability to remove users from their platforms. Filed on September 22nd in the U.S. District Court for the District of Texas Austin Division, NetChoice and Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which represent Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others, contend that House Bill 20 violates the First Amendment.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is suing two federal agencies for violating its free speech rights on social media. Filed on September 9th in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, PETA alleges that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “blocked comments posted to the agencies’ social media accounts based on the viewpoint and/or content of that speech.”
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.