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US supreme court to hear case about government requests to social media companies

Case to determine if White House violated free speech protections when it asked social networks to remove Covid misinformation

The supreme court will hear oral arguments on Monday in Murthy v Missouri, a case with the potential to radically redefine how the US government interacts with social media companies. The suit is the culmination of years of a Republican-backed legal campaign arguing that efforts by federal agencies and Joe Biden’s White House to reduce misinformation online constitute censorship.

Central to the case is whether the White House violated free speech protections during the Covid-19 pandemic, when government officials requested that Twitter, Facebook and other social networks remove misinformation about the coronavirus. The lawsuit accuses the government of “coercing” tech platforms to change their policies, block content and suspend users. The complaint was filed by attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri as well as rightwing individuals such as the conspiracy theory site founder Jim Hoft. If the courts decide in their favor, the White House would be blocked from contacting social media companies, as happened when a lower court sided with the plaintiffs.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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