The U.S. Supreme Court has issued not so favourable ruling to President Joe Biden. The currently leaning conservative due to former President Donald Trump’s influence, issued notable rulings, including one against states with stringent gun laws and another rejecting President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan on constitutional grounds.
Cases from Texas and Florida, where conservative legislatures passed laws addressing significant national issues, have garnered attention.
According to Conservative Brief news report on Monday, November 20, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a 2021 bill aimed at holding Big Tech accountable, allowing Floridians to sue social media sites for unjust shutdowns and prohibiting the removal of political candidates’ pages.
However, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals deemed the victory unconstitutional, asserting that the government cannot dictate private entities’ speech. Texas also enacted its law against social media censorship in 2021, preventing Big Tech from censoring opinions, particularly those of conservatives, and permitting those silenced to seek legal recourse.
Representative Briscoe Cain, the bill’s author, highlighted the influence of a handful of social media sites on various aspects of society, emphasizing the need to counteract bias against conservative perspectives.
Governor Greg Abbott argued that the law aimed to halt social media companies’ suppression of conservative ideas and values, holding Big Tech accountable for content censorship.
The 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals upheld the Texas law, contrasting with the rejection of the Florida law, expressing concerns about potential far-reaching consequences for various services if Big Tech’s arguments prevailed.
The U.S. Supreme Court, recognizing the divergence in lower court decisions, has agreed to revisit both cases, aiming to provide clarity on the issue of Big Tech censorship.
Justice Clarence Thomas emerged as a strong advocate for regulating Big Tech similarly to utility companies and common carriers, emphasizing their significant societal impact.
Thomas argued that these platforms should be subject to regulation, echoing the stance of Republican lawmakers in Texas and Florida.
Drawing parallels to the regulation of phone companies in the 1950s, Republicans contend that social media companies should face similar oversight. They argue that these companies, like Facebook and YouTube, engage in content suppression, contrary to the principles of the First Amendment.
The comparison to utility companies implies a belief that social media platforms play a crucial role in public discourse and should be subject to regulations that prevent arbitrary content removal.
As the U.S. Supreme Court reevaluates these cases, the fundamental question of whether Big Tech should be treated as utilities, subject to regulation, or as private entities with the freedom to moderate content remains central to the ongoing debate over the role of social media in shaping public discourse.