X Files Lawsuit Against California Over Social Media Content Moderation Law
X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter, has initiated legal proceedings against the state of California in protest of a law mandating the disclosure of content moderation practices. This legislation, identified as AB 587, compels social media entities to provide public insight into their management of issues such as hate speech, extremism, misinformation, and their internal moderation procedures.
X's legal team asserts that this law is unconstitutional and poses a threat to free expression. In the lawsuit, the company contends, "AB 587 has both the purpose and potential effect of coercing companies like X Corp. into removing, demonetizing, or deprioritizing speech protected by the Constitution." The company further alleges that AB 587's true motive is to compel social media platforms to eliminate content perceived as problematic by the State, which enjoys constitutional protection.
X's opposition to this law is not isolated. While some activists supported AB 587, various industry groups raised objections. Netchoice, a trade association representing major tech firms such as Meta, Google, and TikTok, argued that AB 587 could facilitate the evasion of security measures by malicious actors, making it more challenging for platforms to enforce their regulations.
Proponents of AB 587 argue that it is essential to enhance the transparency of prominent online platforms. Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, the author of the legislation, responded to X's lawsuit by stating, "If @X has nothing to hide, then they should have no objection to this bill."