The Supreme Court delayed a decision on whether to take up a pair of cases challenging social media laws in Texas and Florida that could upend the way platforms decide which posts they remove and which ones they promote.
On Monday, the court asked the U.S. Solicitor General for input on the cases, which were both filed by tech industry groups NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Assocation (CCIA). The groups argue that the laws violate the First Amendment rights of companies to determine what speech they host.
Republican leaders in Texas and Florida have promoted the legislation as a way to counteract what they call unjust censorship of conservative viewpoints on social media. Major platforms have maintained that they simply enforce their terms of service.
NetChoice and CCIA warned that if allowed to take effect, the social media laws would force platforms to keep messages even if they make false claims on very sensitive subjects. Examples include “Russia’s propaganda claiming that its invasion of Ukraine is justified, ISIS propaganda claiming that extremism is warranted, neo-Nazi or KKK screeds denying or supporting the Holocaust, and encouraging children to engage in risky or unhealthy behavior like eating disorders,” the groups wrote in an emergency application seeking to block Texas’ law from taking effect.