The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Free Speech

Prof. Eric Goldman & Me on Whether Governments Can Limit Platforms' Content Blocking Decisions

A forthcoming panel Thu., Feb. 11, 2 to 3 pm Pacific, organized by the UCLA Institute for Technology, Law, and Policy.


It's free but you need to register here; here's the summary:

As private entities, social media platforms are not bound by the First Amendment, and are free to permit—or block—content and users as they see fit; and 47 U.S.C. § 230 preempts any state statutes that would impose greater limits on such companies. That, at least, is the traditional view.

But some state legislatures are considering statutes that would ban viewpoint-based blocking by platforms; and some scholars are arguing that those laws might prevail, notwithstanding § 230. What are these theories? And what are their strengths and weaknesses?

It's always a pleasure to talk to Eric—who teaches technology law at Santa Clara—about such matters, and I hope you folks find it interesting to listen (and to ask questions during the Q & A).