Judge Blocks "Egregious" Biden Officials, Academic Watchdogs From Manipulating Social Media Narratives
A federal judge on Tuesday made the patriotic decision to block the Biden administration from meeting and communicating with social media companies over "protected speech."
In an extraordinary preliminary injunction, judge Terry A. Doughty, a Trump-appointee, in aimed at halting government influence over public discourse prior to issuing a final ruling in the case which was brought by Republican attorneys general in Missouri and Louisiana, who allege that the federal government overstepped their bounds in their efforts to censor online posts that they worried would contribute to vaccine hesitancy, or undermine US elections (with facts?).
The judge’s order puts limits on a number of executive agencies with a wide range of responsibilities across the federal government, including the Department of Justice, State Department, Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also names more than a dozen individual officials, including Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Jen Easterly, who leads the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. -WaPo
What's more, the order prohibits Biden officials from "collaborating, coordinating, partnering, switchboarding, and/or jointly working with" key academic groups behind various censorship campaigns, including the Election Integrity Partnership, a coalition of researchers led by the Stanford Internet Observatory and the University of Washington Center for an Informed Public.
Over the past seven months, Twitter owner Elon Musk revealed a large-scale, organized government effort to censor opinions which diverge from establishment-approved narratives, under the guise of protecting the public from 'misinformation.'
According to Stanford Law professor Evelyn Douek, "The injunction is strikingly broad and clearly intended to chill any kind of contact between government actors and social media platforms."
In their lawsuit, the state attorneys general accused the Biden administration of enabling a "sprawling federal Censorship Enterprise" to compel social media giants to remove politically unfavorable viewpoints and voices, particularly conservatives who have accused the government of suppressing their speech, in what the plaintiffs described as "the most egregious violationsof the First Amendment in the history of the United States of America."
According to Judge Doughty, the AGs "have produced evidence of a massive effort by Defendants, from the White House to federal agencies, to suppress speech based on its content."
His order did carve out a few exceptions - including warning of national security threats, criminal activity or voter suppression, according to the Washington Post.
The White House gave a lame, generic response, as expected.
"This Administration has promoted responsible actions to protect public health, safety, and security when confronted by challenges like a deadly pandemic and foreign attacks on our elections," one official told the Post. "Our consistent view remains that social media platforms have a critical responsibility to take account of the effects their platforms are having on the American people, but make independent choices about the information they present."
According to Missoury AG Andrew Bailey, "The deep state planted a seed of suppression of government censorship, but that seed was fertilized, germinated and grew rapidly once President Biden took office."
"There are deep concerns here that the government’s unrepentant attitude demonstrates a willingness to continue to violate the First Amendment," Bailey told the Post. "That’s why this wall of separation is so important, regardless of the steps that Big Tech is taking independent of our lawsuit."