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US judge blocks Biden officials from contacting social media

A US federal judge has ruled that a slew of Biden administration officials are barred from contacting social media companies about moderating posts protected by the First Amendment.

Judge Terry A. Doughty he wrote in a 155-page memorandum who believes the plaintiffs are likely to prove that federal government officials are targeting and suppressing “millions of protected free speech posts of American citizens.”

It is likely that the plaintiffs will succeed, on the merits, in establishing that the Government has used its power to silence the opposition. Opposition to vaccines against COVID-19; opposition to the masks and confinements of the COVID-19; opposition to the lab leak theory of COVID-19; opposition to the validity of the 2020 elections; opposition to President Biden’s policies; statements that Hunter Biden’s laptop story was true; and opposition to the policies of government officials in power. They were all deleted. It is quite telling that every instance or category of suppressed speech was conservative in nature. This targeted suppression of conservative ideas is a perfect example of discrimination from a political discourse point of view. American citizens have the right to engage in free debate about the important issues affecting the country.

Like the Washington Post reports, the Republican attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri who are suing President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the CDC, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, state that “as of 2017, four years before Biden became president: Government officials began laying the groundwork for a “systemic and systematic campaign” to police speech on social media.

The News from New York quotes Jameel Jaffer, the executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, responding to the ruling saying, “The government cannot be violating the First Amendment simply by engaging with platforms about their moderation decisions and policies of content. … If that’s what the court is saying here, it’s a pretty radical proposition that’s not supported by case law.”

The NYT also has a statement from an unnamed White House official saying, “Our consistent view remains that social media platforms have a critical responsibility to consider the effects their platforms have on the northern people -American, but make independent decisions about the information they have. present,” noting that the Justice Department is reviewing the ruling as it evaluates its next steps.

The mandate bars people like DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) chief Jen Easterly and FBI Foreign Influence Task Force chief Laura Dehmlow from , as well as employees of these agencies and others, may contact, work with, or ask social media companies about First Amendment-protected posts.

Exceptions listed include:

Those named in the suit are also barred from working with academic groups that focus on social media, such as the Election Integrity Partnership, the Virality Project and Stanford’s Internet Observatory.


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