Elon Musk’s X Sues California State Over Content Moderation Law

Elon Musk’s social media platform X, once called Twitter, is suing California state over a law that makes social media companies share their rules and policies for removing things like hate speech, misinformation and harassment.

A year ago, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom passed a unique law. Now, X Corporation has filed a lawsuit against the State Attorney General, Robert Bonta, contesting the law’s “constitutionality and legality” and asserting that it breaches the First Amendment.

Assembly Bill 587 now makes it a requirement for social media platforms to publicly display their content moderation policies, which they were already doing. Additionally, they must submit a report to the state twice a year, detailing how they deal with issues like hate speech, racism, misinformation, foreign political interference, and other related concerns.

The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District Court of California, states, “The law compels companies to engage in speech against their will, impermissibly interferes with the constitutionally-protected editorial judgments of companies such as X Corp.” It also claims that the law pressures companies to remove or restrict “constitutionally-protected speech.

Musk’s takeover of Twitter in October 2022 saw him make major changes: firing content moderators, reinstating accounts with hate speech, and dissolving the Trust and Safety Council. Despite his “free speech” stance, he’s suspended journalists critical of him.

The bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, views it as a transparency measure, emphasizing that it doesn’t mandate specific content moderation policies. He believes that if Twitter has nothing to hide, it shouldn’t oppose this bill.

Representatives for X and the attorney general’s office have not yet responded to requests for comment.


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