The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments in a First Amendment case that experts have said could have ramifications for how the nation’s largest social media companies are permitted to moderate the content on their platforms.

But the justices’ questions during oral argument revealed a reluctance to enter into that fraught arena, suggesting that the future ruling on the matter will hew narrowly to questions specific to the facts of the case, which involved not social media but instead public-access television channels in New York City.

In particular, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Stephen Breyer, who sit on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, expressed unease with the notion that the First Amendment could apply to private companies operating private property, such as Twitter and YouTube.

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