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July 05, 2023

Leftwing Regime Media Cries About Losing Power to "Fight Disinformation" as Heroic Judge Enjoins the Government from "Encouraging" or "Pressuring" Social Media Companies to Censor Protected First Amendment Speech

In case you missed it, yesterday, on the Fourth of July, a judge announced his decision to enjoin the government from any further "encouraging or pressuring" social media companies to censor Americans.

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

As of today, senior Biden officials -- including all employees of the FBI, DOJ, DHS, the State Dept. and the WH Press Secretary -- are legally banned from doing the following in order to induce or persuade Big Tech platforms to censor Americans


That quote:

It is quite telling that each example or category of suppressed speech was conservative in nature. This targeted suppression of conservative ideas is a perfect example of viewpoint discrimination of political speech. American citizens have the right to engage in free debate about the significant issues affecting the country.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian "Ministry of Truth."

It is no coincidence that he released this on Independence Day. This was his own shot across the bow of an evil, freedom-crushing foreign government.

Here's the NY Times crying about the government's censorship bureaucracy being put in check:


Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

Of course The New York Times depicts this anti-censorship ruling as a dangerous shield for "disinformation."

The most surreal fact of US political life is that the leading advocates for unified state/corporate censorship are large media corporations...

It's not that surreal. In 2016, America "voted wrong" and every institution dominated by college-educated upper-middle class bien pensants decided the public must never be permitted to "vote wrong" again, and decided at that moment to "fortify" the 2020 elections and also "fortify" the government's censorship machinery.

There's also the matter of the media feeling that it is on the brink of systemic collapse due to competitors in the news and opinion field eating their lunch -- and they have decided to simply outlaw their competition. A statement by the BBC admitted that one motive for its project of delegitimizing all non-state-approved-media was protecting its business from competition.

From Aaron Walker at Twitchy, here's some of the evidence of censorship the judge recounted in his order.

At the heart of the case is the question of whether Facebook, YouTube, Twitter (pre-Elon-Musk), and other social platforms were censoring purely out of their own desires (or potentially, their non-governmental advertisers' desires), or if this was done under the improper influence of the government. After all, when the government is forbidden from doing something--in this case, regulating the expression of private citizens--it is forbidden from doing it by any means.

That takes you through page after page of the facts, the court describing one deposition after another. And what emerges is the government and these various social media platforms had entered into an extremely tight relationship. The defendants--Biden, et al.--argued that they were just asking these platforms nicely to remove disinformation. But the way these government officials were acting, it wasn't really a request. These government officials treated these personnel at the social media companies like they worked for them.

For instance, we have this incident:

On February 6, 2021, [Rob Flaherty, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Digital Strategy] requested Twitter to remove a parody account linked to Finnegan Biden, Hunter Biden's daughter and President Biden's granddaughter. The request stated, 'Cannot stress the degree to which this needs to be resolved immediately,' and 'Please remove this account immediately.' Twitter suspended the parody account within forty-five minutes of Flaherty's request.


The same Flaherty also demanded reports from social media companies like they were his underlings:

On March 15, 2021, Flaherty ... demanded a report from Facebook on a recent Washington Post article that accused Facebook of allowing the spread of information leading to vaccine hesitancy. Flaherty emailed the Washington Post article to Facebook the day before, with the subject line: 'You are hiding the ball,' and stated 'I've been asking you guys pretty directly, over a series of conversations, for a clear accounting of the biggest issues you are seeing on your platform when it comes to vaccine hesitancy and the degree to which borderline content as you define it -- is playing a role.'

The opinion goes on to quote an email from him which sounds very threatening:

I will also be the first to acknowledge that borderline content offers no easy solutions. But we want to know that you're trying, we want to know how we can help, and we want to know that you're not playing a shell game with us when we ask you what is going on. This would all be a lot easier if you would just be straight with us.

An employee of Facebook responded:

We obviously have work to do to gain your trust...We are also working to get you useful information that's on the level. That's my job and I take it seriously -- I'll continue to do it to the best of my ability, and I'll expect you to hold me accountable.

Andrew Slavitt, former White House Senior COVID-19 Advisor, had been cc'ed on all of this, and decided to add some fuel to the fire:

Slavitt ... responded, accusing Facebook of not being straightforward, and added more pressure by stating, 'internally, we have been considering our options on what to do about it.'

More at the link.

Remember, David French previously justified the government threatening social media to censor its political enemies by stating that "the government also has First Amendment rights" and among those rights is the right to "jawbone" others into doing what it wants.

French takes the position that unless the government passes a law stating "This law is intended to unconstitutionally censor Americans," it's not censorship. It's just "jawboning."

Below, the order bars the FBI, DOJ, DHS, and many other agencies from "encouraging" or "pressuring" social media companies to censor protected speech:



digg this
posted by Lamont the Big Dummy at 01:00 PM

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