Up until now the internet has been the wild, wild, West like….
Politicians in Red AND Blue states are beginning to want to make social media platforms follow their rules….
Some see a looming First Amendment fight coming….
The internet is just not made change lanes at every state border….
With the current High Court?
Who knows how this goes?
Efforts to police speech on social media are spreading across the country, with lawmakers in 34 states pushing bills that are already setting up court battles with tech giants over the First Amendment.
State legislators have introduced more than 100 bills in the past year aiming to regulate how social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter handle their users’ posts, according to POLITICO’s analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, only three bills have become law, including statutes in Texas and Florida aimed at punishing platforms that Republicans accuse of censoring conservatives — and federal courts have blocked those two states’ measures from taking effect.
Blue states are joining the trend as well, though Democrats’ emphasis is pressing social media companies to establish policies for reporting hate speech, violent content and misinformation.
The states’ efforts — in the absence of federal action — could test governments’ ability to regulate speech, while forcing some of the nation’s wealthiest tech companies to fight an array of legal battles against laws that could upend their business models. These fights will also present courts with a fundamental debate about how the First Amendment plays out in the online age, including the companies’ own rights to decide what content they host on their platforms.
Many legal scholars see glaring flaws in some states’ approaches. “The government cannot tell a private company what speech it can or cannot carry, provided that speech is constitutionally protected,” said Jeff Kosseff, a cybersecurity law professor at the U.S. Naval Academy who has written two books about online speech.
Industry groups have warned that some of the laws — especially the ones in Texas and Florida — could wreak havoc on how they handle content worldwide.
“You cannot have a state-by-state internet,” Kosseff said. “When you step back and look at the possibility of having 50 different state laws on content moderation — some of which might differ or might conflict — that becomes a complete disaster.”….