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US judge blocks Biden officials from contacting social media sites

US judge blocks Biden officials from contacting social media sites

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

Judge Terry A. Doughty ruled in a 155-page memorandum that he believes the plaintiffs can prove that federal government officials are targeting and suppressing "millions of protected free speech postings by US citizens."

The plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of establishing that the government has used its power to silence the opposition. opposition to covid-19 vaccines; opposing COVID-19 masking and lockdowns; Opposition to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19; protesting the legality of the 2020 election; opposition to the policies of President Biden; the statement that the Hunter Biden laptop story was true; and opposition to the policies of government officials in power. Everyone was suppressed. It is quite clear that each instance or category of suppressed speech was conservative in nature. This targeted suppression of conservative views is a perfect example of viewpoint discrimination of political speech. American citizens have the right to engage in free debate on important issues affecting the country.

As the Washington Post reports, Republican attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri have sued President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the CDC, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, claiming " Beginning in 2017, four years before Biden became president, officials within the government began laying the groundwork for a "systemic and systematic campaign" to control speech on social media.

Responding to the decision, The New York Times quoted Jameel Jafar, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, as saying, "It cannot be that the government violates the First Amendment by simply engaging with platforms about their content." - Moderation Decisions and Policies... If this is what the Court is saying here, it is a very radical proposition not supported by case law.

The NYT also has a statement from an unnamed White House official, which said, "Our consistent view is that social media platforms have an important responsibility to account for the impact of their platforms on the American people, but those who Make free choices about the information you give." Present," and notes that the Justice Department is reviewing the decision as it evaluates its next steps.

The injunction blocked people like DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) leader Jane Easterly, and FBI Foreign Influence Task Force leader Laura Dehmlo, as well as employees of those agencies and many others, from contacting Stopped, stopped working. or working together. Asking social media companies about posts protected by the First Amendment.

Listed exceptions include:

  • Posts about criminal activity or criminal conspiracies
  • threat to national security
  • threat to election security
  • public government speech promoting government policies or views on matters of public concern
  • threat to public safety

Efforts to detect, prevent or mitigate malicious cyber activity
The people named in the lawsuit are also barred from working with academic groups that focus on social media, such as the Election Integrity Partnership, the Virality Project, and the Stanford Internet Observatory.

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