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(LifeSiteNews) – U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. granted an injunction Tuesday blocking enforcement of a New York law requiring social media platforms to “maintain mechanisms for reporting hateful conduct” as an infringement on the freedom of speech.

The Daily Caller reported that last year, in the wake of a shooting at a Buffalo supermarket by a self-described “anti-Semite” and “white supremacist, New York enacted the so-called Hateful Conduct Law, which concerns “the use of a social media network to vilify, humiliate, or incite violence against a group or a class of persons on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression”; ostensibly to limit the spread of speech that supposedly radicalizes disturbed minds into violence.

Last December, the libertarian group Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) sued the state over the law on behalf of alternative social platforms Rumble and Locals, as well as UCLA constitutional law scholar Eugene Volokh.

Carter sided with FIRE, finding that the law “both compels social media networks to speak about the contours of hate speech and chills the constitutionally protected speech of social media users, without articulating a compelling governmental interest or ensuring that the law is narrowly tailored to that goal.”

Celebrating the ruling, Volokh told the Caller that it “makes clear that the government can’t single out particular ideological viewpoints, by requiring platforms to have policies for dealing with those viewpoints. A state couldn’t, for instance, require platforms to have policies for dealing with unpatriotic speech, or anti-police speech; likewise, it can’t require them to have policies explaining how they deal with ‘hateful’ speech.”

The preliminary injunction is not a final ruling on the merits but strongly indicates the law will ultimately be rejected. It remains to be seen what New York officials’ next move will be.

Critics of Big Tech have identified government coercion of and/or collusion with private censorship is one of the most potent potential avenues of reform, as the former has the capacity to transform the latter into actionable violations of the First Amendment. The Biden administration has openly admitted to urging social media companies to take down specific content on the grounds of supposedly constituting “misinformation” about COVID-19.