Selangor Journal
The new logo of X (formerly known as Twitter) is seen in this illustration on July 24, 2023. — Picture by REUTERS

Elon Musk’s X fails to block California’s content moderation law

SACRAMENTO, Dec 30 — Elon Musk’s X failed to block a California state law on Thursday (December 28) requiring social media companies to publicly disclose how they moderate certain content on their platforms.

X, formerly known as Twitter, sued California in September to undo the content moderation law, saying it violated its free speech rights under the United States’ (US) Constitution’s First Amendment and California’s state constitution.

The law requires social media companies with a sizable gross annual revenue to issue semiannual reports describing their content moderation practices and provide data on the number of objectionable posts and how they were addressed.

In an eight-page decision, US District Judge William Shubb dismissed the social media company’s request.

“While the reporting requirement does appear to place a substantial compliance burden on social media companies, it does not appear the requirement is unjustified or unduly burdensome within the context of First Amendment law,” he wrote.

X did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shubb will meet with the lawyers in the case on February 26 for a scheduling conference.

He held the “terms of service” requirements of the law to be integral and said their presence could be a major deciding factor for users.

X has been under fire regarding its content moderation rules, with many companies pausing advertising on the platform.

Since Musk took over X in October last year, its monthly US ad revenue declined at least 55 per cebt year-over-year each month, according to third-party data provided to Reuters in October.

The social media platform also faces scrutiny in Europe. Earlier this month, the European Union said it is investigating X over suspected breaches of obligations, partly relating to posts following Hamas’ attacks on Israel, its first probe under the Digital Services Act (DSA).

Following Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel, X and other social media companies were flooded with fake images and misleading information.

X said it remains committed to complying with the DSA and is cooperating with the regulatory process.

The case is X Corp v Bonta, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, No. 2:23-cv–01939.

— Bernama


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