December 8, 2023 — Washington, DC
American Jewish Committee (AJC) today filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court defending the right of social media companies to exclude hateful speech from their platforms. The case, Moody v. NetChoice, involves challenges to Florida and Texas statutes which limited the right of social media platforms to exclude posts that violated their rules of service. The lower federal courts are divided on the constitutionality of such statutes.
AJC’s brief sides with those challenging the Florida and Texas statutes, stating “Individuals who want to incite or celebrate offline violence against faith and ethnic groups often use private social media services to do so. And research shows that hateful or violent online rhetoric can encourage unstable or potentially violent individuals to act on their extreme views. So does tragic recent experience.”
“Social media companies have a responsibility to ensure that their platforms aren't used to peddle antisemitism and other forms of hate,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. “These companies must have the freedom to act quickly to ensure their platforms are not used to incite violence and hate and jeopardize vulnerable communities.”
AJC has and will continue to work with tech and social media companies to identify all forms of contemporary antisemitism, improve hate speech policies, enhance moderation systems, increase transparency, and make it easier to report antisemitism.
Recognizing the need to address antisemitism as a hatred and bigotry that continues to change and morph, in 2019 AJC created its Translate Hate glossary. On November 30, AJC announced the addition of more than a dozen terms to the glossary. AJC provides this tool to social media companies so that they can better identify anti-Jewish hate speech on their platforms and work to combat its spread.
The brief was prepared for AJC by Aaron E. Nathan of the law firm of Willkie Farr and Gallagher. The brief is available here.
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. For more, please visit www.ajc.org.