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Supreme Court hearing social media misinformation case

The White House argues that social media companies should limit misinformation, but two state AGs say the federal government should not be involved.
Supreme Court hearing social media misinformation case
Posted at 10:07 AM, Mar 18, 2024

The Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday over whether the Biden administration violated the First Amendment when it urged social media companies to remove false or misleading posts from their platforms.

The administration said it was trying to curb online misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election.

Two state attorneys general, both Republicans, challenged the administration's actions, claiming federal officials worked with social media companies to silence conservatives online.

In 2022, when the COVID-19 pandemic was still a major issue for the nation, the Biden administration contacted social media companies like Facebook and YouTube and asked them to take down misleading information. The White House wanted these companies to enforce their own rules.

However, the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri sued the Biden administration as they wanted to be able to limit what the Biden administration could do with these private companies.

SEE MORE: Supreme Court Justices appear skeptical of social media state laws

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill do not want the Biden administration to reach out to these private companies and tell them what to remove from their websites.

The White House's actions violated the free speech of the people who posted on those social media platforms, the attorneys general said. 

The White House argued that if they see misinformation with issues of national security or misinforming the general public, they should be able to step in and ask these companies to remove information that could potentially be detrimental. The attorneys general responded by claiming that the government should not use its weight to lean on these companies to ask them to remove details that people have posted on these platforms.

A decision is not expected for some time.

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