On Monday, a group of ten industry and civil society organizations filed an amicus brief urging a federal appeals court to oppose a new Florida law requiring social media platforms to carry hate speech, disinformation, and other harmful content. The law, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in May, was enjoined by a U.S. District Court for violating the First Amendment. Florida’s attorney general appealed that decision and the case is now before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
The organizations filing today’s brief — including Chamber of Progress, Connected Commerce Council, Consumer Technology Association, Engine, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, LGBT Tech Institute, National Black Justice Coalition, Progressive Policy Institute, TechNet, and Washington Center for Technology Policy Inclusion — expressed their support for a preliminary injunction barring the law’s implementation. The brief supports NetChoice and the Consumer & Communications Industry Association’s challenge to the Florida law.
The brief argues that the new law hurts consumers by stopping online platforms from protecting against harmful content, writing:
“If the Act is enforced, consumers will lose the benefits of healthy, inclusive, and widely accessible online communities and services. Providers will be forced to change or significantly reduce their moderation practices to limit liability risk or change their products in ways that could transform the services they provide. As a result, consumers will be exposed to more scams, harassment, hate speech, explicit content, and misinformation, making online services more dangerous for vulnerable populations such as children, teens, and seniors, and inhospitable to frequently targeted communities.”
Chamber of Progress and several of the organizations joining today’s amicus brief filed a brief opposing the Florida law in June prior to the District Court’s decision. Many of the same groups have also teamed up to oppose a similar law in Texas that would require social companies to carry hate speech, misinformation and other harmful content.
Chamber of Progress (progresschamber.org) is a new center-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future. We work to ensure that all Americans benefit from technological leaps, and that the tech industry operates responsibly and fairly.
Our corporate partners do not have a vote on or veto over our positions. We do not speak for individual partner companies and remain true to our stated principles even when our partners disagree.