SCOTUS Oral Arguments Social Media Platforms and Robin Anderson on US-Israel Media Genocide Complicity

SCOTUS Oral Arguments Social Media Platforms

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about two different state laws that would regulate how large tech companies control what content can appear on their sites. The laws would compel companies to carry all users viewpoints and would preclude them from de-platforming political candidates. The Florida law at issue in Moody v. NetChoice and its Texas counterpart in NetChoice v. Paxton represent challenges by tech lobbying groups, NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Information Association. The plaintiffs claim the laws violate their First Amendment rights to make editorial choices about what content to permit or prohibit.

Most members of the Supreme Court seemed to indicate that, in some contexts, the Florida and Texas laws likely violate the First Amendment rights of the social media firms. They also expressed concern that blocking the laws entirely might go too far.

Republican legislators in the two states passed the laws aimed at what they say are efforts to stifle conservative voices on platforms like Facebook and YouTube. In part, the laws came about after platforms banned Donald Trump for violating their rules against inciting violence in his posts related to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection.

The plaintiffs assert that it will be virtually impossible for platforms to monitor and prevent hate speech, pro-terrorism advocacy and content that could harm children.

Potentially pivotal members of the court included conservative Amy Coney Barrett and her liberal counterpart Ketanji Brown Jackson. They said the correct course for the court was murky because large social media platforms play many different roles. While the platforms primarily curate speech crafted by users and enjoy broad First Amendment protection for doing so, the sites also provide services, like private messaging, that dont involve much, if any, editorial supervision by the sites. Barrett and Jackson suggested that such services are similar to telephone or internet providers and can be subject to more government regulation.

Guest ” Attorney and Professor Zachary Wolfe at George Washington University in Washington D.C.


Robin Anderson on US-Israel Media Genocide Complicity

International humanitarian aid organizations have been documenting and warning that Israel was committing crimes of war after bombing Gaza after the October 7, 2023 Hamas attacks. Yet major media outlets and social media platforms have consistently ignored their on-the-ground reports.

As Israels attacks escalated into acts of genocide, corporate media coverage has largely framed such violence as defensive and justified. Glaringly absent has been reporting on Israels long-established use of violence and deprivation against Palestinians in Gaza, the West Back and Occupied East Jerusalem. As weve been covering on Law and Disorder, 50 years after Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, it has systematically repressed and abused the rights of the Palestinian population. It is long recognized by most state and international bodies have long recognized that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Israeli violence has long been aggressive, a fact well documented but rarely discussed is establishment media.

What factors have contributed to Israel avoiding moral and legal culpability for its acts of genocide? As it turns out, there are many, from Israel employing propaganda, falsifying evidence, to the censorship and silencing of US journalists and commentators as well as repression of dissident voices online and off. And powerful Israeli lobbying forces have effectively silenced any criticism of Israel.

Guest – Robin Andersen is Professor Emerita of Media Studies at Fordham University. She writes media criticism for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), and other outlets, and works with Project Censored as a contributor to the annual State of the Free Press book. Her work 0n the current Israeli bombing of Gaza has appeared in numerous publications. She is a guest columnist for Al Jazeera Arabic. Her book, A Century of Media, A Century of War, won the Alpha Sigma Nu book award in 2007. Robin’s Substack Page

Hosted by attorneys Michael Smith and Heidi Boghosian

Share This Episode