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  • Parv Jain

Elon Musk's X Unsuccessful in Overturning California's Internet Content Law

California's Internet Content Law

Elon Musk's company, X, which used to be called Twitter, tried but couldn't stop a new law in California. This law says that social media companies must tell everyone how they decide what content to allow or remove on their platforms.

Back in September, X sued California because it didn't like this law. X said the law was against its right to free speech, which is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and also by California's state constitution.

The law says that big social media companies need to make reports twice a year. In these reports, they have to explain how they decide what posts to keep or remove, especially for posts that might be a problem. They also need to share numbers on how many posts they dealt with and what they did about them.

A judge named William Shubb decided on this issue. He wrote a decision that was eight pages long. In it, he said no to the social media company's request to stop the law. He mentioned that even though making these reports might be a lot of work for social media companies, this requirement doesn't seem unfair or too hard to do when you think about the laws around free speech.

X, the company formerly known as Twitter, didn't respond right away when asked for a comment about a recent legal decision.

Judge William Shubb, who's handling this case, has planned a meeting with the lawyers on February 26 to talk about what will happen next in the case. He mentioned that the parts of the law about the "terms of service" are really important. He thinks these terms could be a big reason why people choose to use or not use a social media platform.

Lately, X has had some problems because of how it handles what can be posted on the platform. A lot of businesses have stopped advertising there. Since Elon Musk bought X in October 2022, the money they make from ads in the U.S. each month has gone down a lot, by at least 55% compared to last year. This info comes from data that Reuters got in October.

X is also facing some challenges in Europe. The European Union started investigating X this month. They're looking into whether X didn't do what it was supposed to, especially with posts related to attacks by Hamas on Israel. This is the first time they're using the Digital Services Act (DSA) for an investigation.

After Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, X and other social media platforms saw a lot of fake pictures and wrong information being shared. X has said that they're committed to following the DSA rules and are working with the European Union's investigation.


Q1: Has X responded to the legal decision?

As of now, X has not immediately responded to requests for comment about the legal decision.

Q2: How much has X's ad revenue in the U.S. dropped since Elon Musk's takeover?

Since Elon Musk took over in October 2022, X's monthly U.S. ad revenue has declined by at least 55% each month compared to the previous year.

Q3: What are the main concerns raised by the new California Internet Content law?

The main concerns are about transparency in how social media companies moderate content, especially regarding decisions to remove or allow certain posts.

Q4: What does X’s lawsuit say about the state of free speech on social media?

The lawsuit highlights the ongoing debate about balancing free speech with the need for content moderation on social media platforms.


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