Elon Musk's X Can't Avoid California Content Moderation Law: US Judge

Elon Musk's X Can't Avoid California Content Moderation Law: US Judge

The AB 587 law requires large social media companies to share descriptions of how they moderate content that contains hate speech or racism, extremism or radicalisation, disinformation, harassment, and foreign political interference.

IANSUpdated: Saturday, December 30, 2023, 10:48 AM IST
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Elon Musk | Image: Wikipedia

A judge in the US has ruled that Elon Musk-run X cannot avoid a California law that asks social media platforms to disclose their plans for moderating harmful content and misinformation.

US District Judge William Shubb has denied X's request for a preliminary injunction of the law. "While the reporting requirement does appear to place a substantial compliance burden on social media companies, it does not appear that the requirement is unjustified or unduly burdensome within the context of First Amendment law," Shubb said in his decision.

The AB 587 law requires large social media companies to share descriptions of how they moderate content that contains hate speech or racism, extremism or radicalisation, disinformation, harassment, and foreign political interference.

In a complaint filed in September, X argued that the law violates the First Amendment right to free speech, reports The Verge. The company said that it's "difficult to reliably define" what constitutes hate speech, misinformation, and political interference. X also alleged that AB 587 would force social media platforms to " 'eliminate' certain constitutionally-protected content."

California Governor Gavin Newsom last year signed a law aimed at making social media platforms monitor hate speech, extremism, harassment, and other objectionable behaviours. AB 587 requires social media companies to post their terms of service online, as well as submit a twice-yearly report to the state attorney general, according to reports.

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