X Social Media’s Lawsuit Against California Content Moderation Law Dismissed

Summary

  • The social media platform, previously known as Twitter, now referred to as X, has attempted to challenge California’s content moderation law.
  • It claims the law infringes upon the First Amendment rights under U.S. Constitution and California’s state constitution.
  • This law currently mandates large-scale social media firms to publish biannual reports illustrating their moderation practices and statistics around dubious posts.
  • The U.S. District Judge, William Shubb, rejected X’s plea, stating the demand is neither unjustifiable nor unreasonably burdensome in the context of First Amendment law.
  • A meeting has been set on Feb. 26 for further clarification of the legal proceedings.
  • Besides, X is also scrutinized by the EU following questionable responses to posts regarding Hamas’ attacks on Israel.
  • X maintains its pledge to abide by the Digital Services Act (DSA) and cooperate with the regulatory processes.

X’s Legal Battle Against Content Moderation Law

Once known as Twitter, X pursued legal action against California in September, challenging the state’s content moderation law in court. The company claimed that the law breached its First Amendment rights, both under the U.S. and California’s state constitution.

Regulatory Requirements and Legal Stances

As part of the stipulated law, any social media platform of notable size is required to produce semiannual reports. These reports detail their practices in moderating content, and include data on objectionable posts and corresponding responsive actions undertaken.

However, X’s objections were dismissed by U.S. District Judge William Shubb, who addressed the issue in his eight-page declaration. Shubb held that the law was neither unjustifiable nor overburdened within the context of First Amendment law.

Eventual Outcomes and Further Proceedings

X declined to respond immediately to the judge’s decision. On Feb. 26, Shubb will be holding a meeting with the attorneys of this case.

Furthermore, he declared the “terms of service” requirements of the law to be significant, indicating the potential influence on user decisions. X, as a social platform, faces similar investigations in Europe, particularly in perspective of the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA).

Implications in the European Union

Post the October 7th Hamas’ attacks on Israel, X and other platforms were bombarded with deceptive content and misinformation. As an outcome, the European Union began investigating X for suspected breaches of its obligations under the DSA. Nevertheless, X continues to express its commitment to fulfilling the DSA and collaborates with the ongoing regulatory processes.

The unique case stirs interests as X Corp v Bonta, in the Eastern District Court of California, under the number 2:23-cv–01939.

Considering the regulation challenges faced by social media platforms like X, it is important for traders and investors to keep an eye on policy developments that could impact these companies, and by extension, market trends and asset valuations.

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