Brief Of Amici Curiae Electronic Frontier Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Authors Alliance, Fight For The Future, And First Amendment Coalition In Support Of Petitioners in Moody v. NetChoice
Woodhull Freedom Foundation joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and four other organizations to urge the Supreme Court to strike down laws in Florida and Texas that let the states dictate certain speech social media sites must carry, violating the sites’ First Amendment rights to curate content they publish—a protection that benefits users by creating speech forums catering to their diverse interests, viewpoints, and beliefs.
The court’s decisions about the constitutionality of the Florida and Texas laws—the first laws to inject government mandates into social media content moderation—will have a profound impact on the future of free speech. At stake is whether Americans’ speech on social media must adhere to government rules or be free of government interference.
“Woodhull is proud to lend its voice in support of online freedom and against government censorship of social media platforms,” said Ricci Joy Levy, President and CEO at Woodhull Freedom Foundation. “We understand the important freedoms that are at stake in this case and implore the Court to make the correct ruling, consistent with First Amendment jurisprudence.”
As an organization that works to advance the recognition of sexual freedom, gender equality, and free expression, Woodhull is particularly concerned with governmental attempts to censor or compel online speech, as sexual expression is frequently a target of such censorship efforts. Woodhull believes that if this court upholds the constitutionality of the challenged laws, other jurisdictions will be incentivized to pass similar statutes threatening the ability of its members to effectively advocate for sexual freedom and communicate about sexually oriented topics online.
“Social media content moderation is highly problematic, and users are rightly often frustrated by the process and concerned about private censorship. But retaliatory laws allowing the government to interject itself into the process, in any form, raises serious First Amendment and broader human rights concerns,” said EFF in a brief filed with the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, Authors Alliance, Fight for The Future, and First Amendment Coalition. (See EFF’s release here.)
“The Supreme Court needs to send a strong message that the government can’t force online publishers to give their favored speech special treatment. The Supreme Court should not grant states the power to force their preferred speech on users who would choose not to see it,” said EFF Civil Liberties Director David Greene.
For the brief: https://www.eff.org/document/eff-brief-moodyvnetchoice