The Biden administration doesn’t seem eager to give up its tried-and-true power to compel social media firms to suppress “protected free speech” and remove false narratives from their platforms.
The plaintiffs, the states of Louisiana and Missouri, Doctor Jayanta Bhattacharya, and a number of other physicians, were “likely to be successful on the basis of merit of their argument that the U.S. Government, by means of the White House and multiple federal agencies, pushed and encouraged social networking companies to restrict free speech,” according to the Biden Justice Department’s notification of appeal submitted this week in response to U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty’s preliminary injunction issued on the previous day.
Doughty, a Trump appointee, prohibited Biden administration officials from contacting social media firms about “any way of the removal, suppression, deletion, or reduction of content that contains protected freedom of speech posted on the social media sites.” This included officials from the DOJ, FBI, White House, the Dept. of Health and Human Services, NIAID, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the State Dept.
According to the directive, these and other government authorities are still allowed to speak with social media firms regarding dangers to security and safety of the public, criminal conduct, hostile cyber activity, as well as threats to national security, according to UPI.
According to the judge, the Biden administration “used its authority to suppress the opposition. opposition to the 2020 presidential election’s validity, President Biden’s initiatives, claims that the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop was genuine, COVID-19 vaccinations, COVID-19 masking, and lockdowns and restrictions, the lab-leak theory regarding COVID-19, and policies of the federal government officials in authority.”
“All had been suppressed,” Doughty writes. “The conservative character of each example or category of silenced speech is quite striking. This deliberate stifling of conservative views is the epitome of political discourse that discriminates against viewpoints. Americans have a right to hold open discussions about important matters impacting the nation.”
In his 155-page decision, Doughty, who fought to overturn multiple Biden orders throughout the outbreak, was blunt in saying that “the U.S. Government seems to have taken a position analogous to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.”