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Attorney General Josh Stein Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Clarify that States can Regulate Social Media Platforms

For Immediate Release:
Friday, December 8, 2023

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify that states have the authority to regulate social media platforms. The brief was submitted in two cases currently before the Court, Moody v. NetChoice and NetChoice v. Paxton, which are challenges to laws passed in Florida and Texas.

“We know that social media platforms have designed and targeted their apps at the expense of our kids’ health and safety,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “That’s unacceptable. I’m fighting to protect our children online, and I am urging the Supreme Court to make it clear that states have the right to regulate social media platforms.”

Attorney General Stein and the other attorneys general explain that social media platforms present significant, diverse, and ever-changing risks to Americans, especially younger generations. States have taken action to protect minors from the risks posed by social media, to enforce data privacy and transparency requirements for platforms, and to combat the use of social media to facilitate human trafficking, the spread of child sexual abuse material, and the sale and distribution of fentanyl and other opioids. They are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to recognize states’ important interests in these areas and to avoid interpreting the First Amendment to immunize social media platforms from regulation.

In October, Attorney General Josh Stein and 41 other bipartisan attorneys general sued Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook, for allegedly designing their social media platforms to hook children and teenagers and deceiving the public by claiming that these platforms were safe and suitable for young users.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Stein and a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general are also continuing to investigate TikTok for similarly promoting its platform to young people without regard for their health and well-being. That investigation remains ongoing.

Joining Attorney General Stein in filing today’s brief are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the brief is available here.


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