Elon Musk renamed Twitter as X.
X Corp is suing California over content moderation law, claiming freedom of speech infringement.It requires social media companies to say how they’re tackling hate speech, harassment and extremism.X argued that the law pressures platforms to remove “constitutionally-protected” content.
Elon Musk’s X Corp is suing the state of California over a content moderation law that imposes new transparency regulations on social media companies.
The state law, Assembly Bill 587, requires companies such as X to disclose their policies for combating disinformation and say how they moderate harassment, hate speech, and extremism on their platforms.
The company argued in the lawsuit filed Friday that it infringed its freedom of speech, protected by both the First Amendment of the US Constitution and California’s state constitution, as it “compels companies like X Corp. to engage in speech against their will.”
The global government affairs team at X, formerly known as Twitter, posted Friday: “The true intent of AB 587 is to pressure social media platforms to ‘eliminate’ certain constitutionally-protected content viewed by the State as problematic.”
X said in the complaint that the law would likely force it to “remove, demonetize, or deprioritize” content that the state “deems undesirable or harmful.”
Social media companies routinely remove accounts and content that violate local laws and their own policies.
California governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 587 into law in November. It requires social media companies to publicly share their content moderation policies and report their enforcement data to the state attorney-general twice a year.
The self-described “free speech absolutist” owner of X said in December he bought the social network because he was concerned about free speech.
Last year he published the “Twitter Files” on the platform, which shared internal company emails that seemed to suggest it often complied with government takedown requests. It also accused Twitter of having an overly close relationship with the FBI before Musk took over.
X’s level of compliance with government requests for censorship or surveillance rose to more than 80% in the six months following Musk’s takeover, up from about 50%, Rest of World reported in April.
X replied to Insider’s request for comment with an automated response that said: “Busy now, please check back later.”