Supreme Court hears arguments about social media disinformation

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Supreme Court is considering whether the Biden administration violated the First Amendment by urging social media platforms to remove posts the administration decided were false or misleading.

The case was brought by two republican attorneys general who accuse the White House of a “campaign of censorship.”

The case centers on the White House’s efforts to combat misinformation, specifically related to Covid-19 and the 2020 election.

The lawsuit claims the administration colluded with social media platforms to identify individuals and organizations that the White House believed were responsible for disinformation.

Since last year, the case has been making its way towards the Supreme Court.

A lower court previously decided the administration likely had gone too far in urging social media companies to remove specific content that countered the government’s positions.

The White House says the government should be able to work with social media companies to address matters of public concern, especially related to safety.

“The government has no right to persuade platforms to violate Americans' constitutional rights. Pressuring platforms in backrooms shielded from public view is not using the bully pulpit at all. That's just being a bully,” said Benjamin Aguinaga, Louisiana Solicitor General.

The outcome of the arguments could have a major impact on the government’s ability to interact with social media platforms on issues like content moderation.

The court will likely release its decision later this spring.

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