A federal judge issued an injunction blocking enforcement of New York’s “Hateful Conduct Law” seeking to regulate “hate speech” on social media platforms, ruling that the law is a violation of the First Amendment, which prevents the U.S. government from regulating the speech of its citizens.
In a ruling issued on Tuesday, US District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Andrew L. Carter Jr., sided with legal blogger Eugene Volokh and the free speech-friendly video platform Rumble in their challenge to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s “Hateful Conduct Law.”
“The Hateful Conduct Law both compels social media networks to speak about the contours of hate speech and chills the constitutionally protected speech of social media users, without articulating a compelling governmental interest or ensuring that the law is narrowly tailored to that goal,” said Judge Carter Jr. in his ruling.
The law, according to Judge Carter, conflicts with the United States’ “national commitment to the free expression of speech, even where that speech is offensive or repugnant.”
“The law is clearly aimed at regulating speech. Social media websites are publishers and curators of speech, and their users are engaged in speech by writing, posting, and creating content. Although the law ostensibly is aimed at social media networks, it fundamentally implicates the speech of the networks’ users by mandating a policy and mechanism by which users can complain about other users’ protected speech.”
New York’s “Hateful Conduct Law” shares similarities with California’s law requiring social media platforms to report their policies on hate speech, extremism and disinformation to the state attorney general twice a year. The bill was signed into law by California governor Gavin Newsom last year.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.
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