free speech

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a Pennsylvania high school violated a student's First Amendment rights when it punished her for posting a profane message on Snapchat expressing her frustration about not making the varsity cheerleading team.

The major ruling on student free speech rights was an 8 to 1 decision, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting. While the court said the punishment imposed by the school against the cheerleader was too severe, it said that schools may discipline students for off-campus speech in some cases.

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An executive order that could enable federal regulators to punish social media companies for how they moderate content on their sites would have far-reaching impacts, especially on smaller companies with an online presence, including TikTok, Snap Inc. and Grindr, that lack the budgets to moderate every single message or post on their apps.

President Donald Trump threatened such a change via executive order after Twitter fact checked tweets that spread misinformation related to voting earlier this week. Rather than edit the tweet or block it, the social media company inserted a line that said "get the facts about mail-in ballots."

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