X sues California over online moderation reporting bill

The state of California is being sued by X (formerly Twitter) over AB 587, alleging it violates freedom of speech.

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The state of California is being sued by X (formerly Twitter) over the AB 587 bill, alleging it limits state and federal freedom of speech laws. AB 587 bill is a state legislation requiring social media companies to inform the Attorney General twice a year about how they manage speech moderation. X argues in its complaint that AB 587 may present substantial difficulties for social media companies to define hate speech, false information, political interference, and bias. It also added that the AB 587 bill could pressure social media entities to remove constitutionally protected content identified as objectionable by the state.

According to The Verge, social media moderation remains an ongoing challenge. X employs various tools like automated systems and community flagging for moderation and fact-checking. X introduced “Community Notes” for videos, allowing “Top Writers” to provide context to potentially misleading content, which might also pose a risk of spreading misinformation. Reddit recent changes in moderators drew criticism, while Bluesky acknowledged that its moderation approach might hinder fact-checking on the platform.

Why does it matter?

Similar laws regarding social media moderation have been enacted in Texas and Florida, but they are currently awaiting Supreme Court hearings to address legal challenges. The legal battle between X and the state of California could serve as a focal point in the ongoing discourse surrounding the responsibilities of social media platforms in content moderation while ensuring the protection of freedom of speech.