Freedom of speech is, unsurprisingly, foundational to the “land of the free.” However, the “land of the free” has undergone some changes since the First Amendment’s ratification. Unprecedented technological evolution has ushered in a digital forum in which the volume, speed, and reach of words transcend the Framers’ visions of the First Amendment’s aims. Social media platforms have become central spaces for public discourse, where opportunities to create—and repress—speech are endless. From enabling individuals to freely express their views, to allowing state actors to limit open exchanges, it is about time that the Supreme Court tackles this complex issue of national importance through NetChoice v. Moody and NetChoice v. Paxton.
This Note explores free speech in the context of social media platforms and their content-moderation decisions. While the Supreme Court has previously grappled with the challenges of adapting constitutional principles to technological advancements, it has yet to fully address the unique dynamics of social media platforms and how they remove content. When a social media platform deletes a post or bans a President, is that “speech” protected by the First Amendment? And if it is, should it be? This Note spotlights a recent split between the Eleventh and Fifth Circuits, stemming from politically motivated attempts to regulate social media platforms in Florida and Texas. This Note aims to serve as a guide to the evolving legal landscape surrounding social media content moderation, offering insights into the imminent Supreme Court decisions that will address the circuit split and shape the future of the digital “land of the free.”
For Freedom or Full of It? State Attempts to Silence Social Media,
78 U. Mia. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.miami.edu/umlr/vol78/iss1/9