The Supreme Court could soon change the internet forever

In the midst of wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, social media companies are struggling to handle an onslaught of misinformation, which is often spread by bot and troll accounts. An upcoming decision by the Supreme Court might make this problem go from bad to worse.  

On Sept. 29, the Supreme Court announced it would rule on whether to allow recent laws passed in Florida and Texas that restrict social media sites from removing certain users and posts. These broad laws aim to prevent censorship of political candidates and all user viewpoints. The tech trade association NetChoice said these laws, currently blocked by federal courts, would “transform speech on the internet as we know it today.” 

The share of Americans ages 18 and over who use social media has ballooned from 50 percent to 72 percent in the last decade, according to Pew Research. As global conflicts escalate and the 2024 U.S. presidential election approaches, the Supreme Court’s decision may have a profound impact on the future of online speech and on democracies worldwide.