Legal cases from Florida and Texas are making their way to the Supreme Court. Net Choice, LLC, which is an organization representing big-name social media groups like Meta and Tiktok, sued Florida over the state’s Stop Social Media Censorship Act and its Texas counterpart House Bill 20. The group reasons that the states do not have the authority to remove the power from social media companies to censor posts or ban users.
The companies insist they have First Amendment rights of editorial judgment – just like newspapers.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Florida and Texas, the other 48 states can determine if they want to take away social media companies’ ability to censor.
Misinformation and disinformation already run rampant on online platforms, making it extremely difficult to determine what is and isn’t ‘fake news.’ According to the University of Southern California, 30% to 40% of news readers spread false information to others.
“If an advertiser decides to purchase ad space on a social media platform that has lost self-regulation rights due to government and can no longer filter some of the more extreme voices online – or filter through misinformation – then that advertiser does put themselves at risk for being associated with something that is possibly not credible in the eyes of the general public,” said Maria M. Garcia, Florida International University business professor and researcher on social media digital marketing.