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California Gov. Newsom indicators social media transparency invoice

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed a controversial invoice into legislation that goals to power larger transparency of social media firms, establishing a possible battle over whether or not such measures violate free speech protections.

The legislation, referred to as A.B. 587, would require tech firms to file semiannual studies with the state’s lawyer common that publicly disclose their content material moderation insurance policies relating to hate speech, disinformation and extremism. The invoice was first launched in 2021 within the wake of the Jan. 6 assaults on the Capitol and amid heightened scrutiny of tech giants’ position in fomenting extremism and violence.

Home Jan. 6 committee seeks info from tech giants relating to assault on Capitol

The California legislation is without doubt one of the most important coverage efforts thus far from Democrats and civil rights teams, who’re reacting to criticism that tech firms aren’t doing sufficient to forestall abuse on their platforms. Newsom’s signature indicators that states might play a extra vital position in regulating the tech business, passing payments addressing content material moderation and privateness following inaction in Congress.

“California won’t stand by as social media is weaponized to unfold hate and disinformation that threaten our communities and foundational values as a rustic,” Newsom mentioned in a information launch.

But main tech firms and the commerce teams that characterize them might carry authorized challenges towards the California legislation. They’ve sued to dam different social media legal guidelines in conservative states corresponding to Florida and Texas that may regulate how social media firms police content material, in response to allegations that tech firms are silencing conservative viewpoints.

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Earlier this yr, tech business commerce teams took their battle to the Supreme Court docket, which temporarily blocked the Texas legislation.

Texas, 12 states fireplace again at tech business in Supreme Court docket filings

Although the California legislation goals to deal with very completely different issues about social media firms, the business and a few authorized specialists have raised comparable First Modification issues concerning the laws.

Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara College Faculty of Legislation, wrote in a current weblog publish that A.B. 587 “has censorial penalties.”

“The invoice is more likely to be struck down as unconstitutional at substantial taxpayer expense,” he wrote.

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