+++X Corporation Challenges California Law for Transparency in Content Moderation
+++Maryland School District sues Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and others over Mental Health
+++Appeals Court Limits Government Power to Censor Social Media Content
+++California Lawmakers Wrestle with Social Media Companies over Youth Protection Laws
X Corporation Challenges California Law for Transparency in Content Moderation
California’s AB 587 law, which demands that social media platforms reveal how they moderate content related to hate speech, racism, extremism, disinformation, harassment, and foreign political interference, is being challenged by X, the company that runs Twitter. X says that the law infringes on its constitutional right to free speech by making it use politically charged terms and express opinions on controversial issues. The lawsuit is part of a larger conflict between California and the tech industry over privacy, consumer protection, and regulation.
Read the full report on techcrunch.
Read the full text of Assembly Bill 587.
Read the case X Corporation v. Robert A. Bonta, Attorney General of California, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, No. 2:23-at-00903.
Maryland School District sues Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and others over Mental Health
A school district in Anne Arundel County, Maryland is taking legal action against major social media companies, such as Meta, Google, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok. The school district accuses these companies of causing a mental health crisis among young people by using algorithms that keep them hooked on their platforms. The school district says that these platforms expose young users to harmful content and make them spend too much time on screens. The school district demands that these platforms change their algorithms and practices to safeguard children’s well-being. The school district also wants to recover the money that it has spent on addressing student mental health issues.
Read the full report on WBALTV.
Read the case Board of Education of Anne Arundel County v. Meta Platforms Inc. et alia, U.S. District Court, Maryland, No. 1:23-cv-2327.
Appeals Court Limits Government Power to Censor Social Media Content
A federal appeals court has narrowed a previous court order that limited the Biden administration’s engagement with social media companies regarding contentious content. The original order, issued by a Louisiana judge on July 4th, prevented various government agencies and officials from communicating with platforms like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) to encourage the removal of content considered problematic by the government. The appeals court found the initial order too broad and vague, upholding only the part preventing the administration from threatening social media platforms with antitrust action or changes to liability protection for user-generated content. Some agencies were also removed from the order. The Biden administration can seek a Supreme Court review within ten days.
Read the full report on the associated press.
Read the case Missouri v. Biden, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, No. 3:22-CV-1213.
California Lawmakers Wrestle with Social Media Companies over Youth Protection Laws
A bill to make social media platforms responsible for harmful content died in a California committee. Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) authored SB 680, which targeted content related to eating disorders, self-harm, and drugs. Tech companies, including Meta, Snap, and TikTok, opposed the bill, saying it violated federal law and the First Amendment. Lawmakers said social media platforms could do more to prevent harm. Another bill, AB 1394, which deals with child sexual abuse material, passed to the Senate floor. It would require platforms to let California users report such material, with fines for non-compliance.
- Copyright Law: “Sam Smith Beats Copyright Lawsuit Over ‘Dancing With a Stranger’” (by Bloomberg Law)
- Copyright Law: “Copyright Office Denies Registration to Award-Winning Work Made with Midjourney” (by IP Watchdog)
- Cryptocurrency: “Who’s Afraid Of (Suing) DeFi Entities?” (by Forbes)
- Privacy: “Meta Platforms must face medical privacy class action” (by Reuters)
- Social Media: “Meta-Backed Diversity Program Accused of Anti-White Hiring Bias” (by Bloomberg)
- Personal Injury: “New York man was killed ‘instantly’ by Peloton bike, his family says in lawsuit” (by CNBC)
- Social Media: “Fired Twitter employee says he’s owed millions in lawsuit” (by SF Examiner)
- Social Media: “Georgetown County School District joining lawsuit against Meta, TikTok, Big Tech” (by Post and Courier)
- Defamation: “Elon Musk to sue ADL for accusing him, X of antisemitism” (by TechCrunch)
- Surveillance Capitalism: “A Radical Proposal for Protecting Privacy: Halt Industry’s Use of ‘Non-Content’” (via Lawfare)
In Other News (or publications you should read)
- Richard Allen’s regulate.tech blog: How to regulate the internet without breaking it
- Benjamin Wittes, Robert Chesney, Jack Goldsmith’s lawfare: Hard national security choices
- Julie Zerbo’s the fashion law (TFL)
- Justin Hendrix’ tech policy press: technology and democracy.
- Eugene Volokh: The Volokh Conspiracy