Social Media Censorship is not Speech

(updated) My Amicus Brief filing in 5th Court of Appeals Docket # 21-51178 NetChoice v. Paxton Appeal by TX AG Paxton of preliminary injunction against Texas anti-social medial censorship bill H.B.20.

Amicus-Brief-NetChoice-v-Paxton-2022-03-unofficial.pdf

Social media platforms are not media, but platforms used by the users to communicate with each other and to create media.  Platforms themselves are not media companies, but telecommunications services providers. The Platforms have never marketed themselves as media, press, or publishers.

Platforms operate under their contracts (which are to be constructed by courts in each separate case; their terms of service are illegal and invalid) with the users and consumer protection laws.

Platforms are state actors, and must respect the First Amendment rights of their users. Most of the censorship by the Platforms lacks necessary communicative elements to even claim the First Amendment protection.

2022-01-18 update: Not included in the brief because space limits, but several Platforms stated that a substantial part of their activities is prevention of foreign interference and/or foreign misinformation. Government officials demand and collaborate in this activity, or activity under the color of national security. National security and defense are traditionally and exclusively performed by the government, which makes Platforms state actors. (Debauche v. Trani, 191 F.3d 499, 507 (4th Cir. 1999); Evans v. Newton, 382 U.S. 296, 299, 86 S.Ct. 486 (1966); Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830, 842, 102 S.Ct. 2764 (1982)). In many cases, Platforms conduct censorship prohibited or regulated by H.B.20 under pretext of fighting foreign misinformation or interference.

2022-01-13 (original)

My Amicus Brief in 5th Court of Appeals Docket #: 21-51178 NetChoice v. Paxton (Appeal by TX AG Paxton of preliminary injunction against Texas anti-social medial censorship bill H.B.20) is delivered to the Court.

The Motion is not currently considered and unfiled for untimely submission.

Amicus-Brief–NetChoice-v-Paxton-unofficial.PDF

Amicus-Motion–NetChoice-v-Paxton-unofficial.PDF

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