Elon Musk’s X Corp. has filed a lawsuit against California over the state’s content moderation law.
X’s complaint, which was filed on Friday, argues that the law violates the First Amendment.
X’s Global Government Affairs team wrote of the lawsuit, “Today, @X filed a First Amendment lawsuit against California AB 587. As made clear by both the legislative history and public court submissions from the Attorney General in defending the law, the true intent of AB 587 is to pressure social media platforms to ‘eliminate’ certain constitutionally-protected content viewed by the State as problematic.”
Today, @X filed a First Amendment lawsuit against California AB 587. As made clear by both the legislative history and public court submissions from the Attorney General in defending the law, the true intent of AB 587 is to pressure social media platforms to “eliminate” certain…
— Global Government Affairs (@GlobalAffairs) September 8, 2023
Assembly Bill No. 587 was signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom last year.
The Verge reported at the time the bill was signed, “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. The report must include details about whether the platform defines and moderates several categories of content, including ‘hate speech or racism,’ ‘extremism or radicalization,’ ‘disinformation or misinformation,’ harassment, and ‘foreign political interference.’ It must also offer details about automated content moderation, how many times people viewed content that was flagged for removal, and how the flagged content was handled. It’s one of several recent California plans to regulate social media, also including AB 2273, which is intended to tighten regulations for children’s social media use.”
X’s lawsuit argues that “AB 587 violates X Corp.’s First Amendment right to not speak about controversial topics and to decide for itself what it will say or not say about these topic.”
California State Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, the author of the bill, argued in true authoritarian form that if X, formerly known as “Twitter,” has “nothing to hide” then they should have no objection to his bill.
“Assembly Bill 587 is a pure transparency measure that simply requires companies to be upfront about if and how they are moderating content. It in no way requires any specific content moderation policies – which is why it passed with strong, bipartisan support,” Gabriel said in a statement, according to a report from The Hill. “If Twitter has nothing to hide, then they should have no objection to this bill.”