The US state of Florida responded to social media's silencing of Donald Trump by enacting a new law to ban social media from censoring users for political reasons. The law was challenged in the courts and it has now been judged to be mostly
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Florida's social media regulation law is unconstitutional.
The Appeals Court ruled against most of the provisions in Florida's social media regulation law. However, it said some of
the provisions, including one that requires platforms to allow banned individuals to access their data for at least 60 days, were constitutional.
The ruling said that the law violated social media companies' First Amendment rights:
We conclude that social media platforms' content-moderation activities -- permitting, removing, prioritizing, and deprioritizing users and posts -- constitute 'speech' within the meaning of the First Amendment.
Most notably, the court rejected the argument that social media companies should be defined as common carriers, saying:
Earlier this month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
allowed a similar law in Texas to be enforced. The Texas law prohibits social media companies from censoring content or banning users based on political viewpoints. Tech companies have appealed the ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and have
submitted the ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to support their case.
Neither law nor logic recognizes government authority to strip an entity of its First Amendment rights merely by labeling it a common carrier.