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  • This is nothing new. The US has a disinformation unit too. It is supposed to be disbanded - but really, imho, some entity has existed since the beginning of the internet.....this is why we have advocated for years that people use at least two sources for their information. link


    Counter Disinformation Unit - UK





    Comment


    • Judge limits Biden administration contact with social media firms
      ...

      By MATT BERG and JOSH GERSTEIN
      07/04/2023 02:09 PM EDT
      Updated: 07/04/2023 03:57 PM EDT

      A federal judge in Louisiana ruled Tuesday that the Biden administration likely violated the First Amendment by censoring unfavorable views on social media over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, calling the efforts “Orwellian.”

      U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty also issued a sweeping preliminary injunction barring numerous federal officials and agencies — including Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and all employees of the Justice Department and FBI — from having any contact with social media firms for the purpose of discouraging or removing First Amendment-protected speech.
      ...
      “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,’” Doughty wrote in his 155-page opinion, which was released as most federal courts were closed for the Independence Day holiday.
      ...



      --------------------------------------------------

      UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
      WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
      MONROE DIVISION
      STATE OF MISSOURI, ET AL. CASE NO. 3:22-CV-01213
      VERSUS JUDGE TERRY A. DOUGHTY
      JOSEPH R BIDEN JR., ET AL. MAG. JUDGE KAYLA D. MCCLUSKY
      JUDGMENT

      For the reasons set forth in the Memorandum Ruling on the Request for Preliminary
      Injunction,

      IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that Plaintiffs’ Motion for
      Preliminary Injunction [Doc. No. 10] is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
      IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that: the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN
      SERVICES (“HHS”) and THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND
      INFECTIOUS DISEASES (“NIAID”), and specifically the following employees of the HHS and
      NIAID: XAVIER BECERRA,1 Secretary of HHS; DR. HUGH AUCHINCLOSS, Director of
      NIAID; YOLANDA BYRD, HHS Digital Engagement Team; CHRISTY CHOI, HHS Office of
      Communications; ASHLEY MORSE, HHS Director of Digital Engagement; JOSHUA PECK,
      HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary, Deputy Digital Director of HHS successor (formerly JANELL
      MUHAMMED); along with their secretaries, directors, administrators and employees;
      SURGEON GENERAL VIVEK H. MURTHY, KATHARINE DEALY, Chief Engagement
      Officer for the Surgeon General, along with her secretaries, directors, administrators, and
      employees; the CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (“CDC”), and
      specifically the following employees: CAROL Y. CRAWFORD, Chief of the Digital Media
      Branch of the CDC Division of Public Affairs; JAY DEMPSEY, Social-media Team Leader,
      Digital Media Branch, CDC Division of Public Affairs; KATE GALATAS, CDC Deputy
      Communications Director; UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU (“Census Bureau”), and
      specifically the following employees: JENNIFER SHOPKORN, Census Bureau Senior Advisor
      for Communications, Division Chief for the Communications Directorate, and Deputy Director of
      the Census Bureau Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, along with their
      secretaries, directors, administrators and employees; the FEDERAL BUREAU OF
      INVESTIGATION (“FBI”), and specifically the following employees: LAURA DEHMLOW,
      Section Chief, FBI Foreign Influence Task Force; ELVIS M. CHAN, Supervisory Special Agent
      of Squad CY-1 in the FBI San Francisco Division; THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT
      OF JUSTICE, along with their secretary, director, administrators, and employees; the following
      members of the Executive Office of the President of the United States: White House Press
      Secretary KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, Counsel to the President; STUART F. DELERY, White
      House Partnerships Manager; AISHA SHAH, Special Assistant to the President; SARAH
      BERAN, MINA HSIANG, Administrator of the United States Digital Service within the Office
      of Management and Budget; ALI ZAIDI, White House National Climate Advisor; White House
      Senior COVID-19 Advisor successor (formerly ANDREW SLAVITT); Deputy Assistant to the
      President and Director of Digital Strategy successor (formerly ROB FLAHERTY); DORI
      SALCIDO, White House COVID-19 Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement;
      White House Digital Director for the COVID-19 Response Team successor (formerly CLARKE
      HUMPHREY); Deputy Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement of the White
      House COVID-19 Response Team successor (formerly BENJAMIN WAKANA); Deputy
      Director for Strategic Communications and External Engagement for the White House COVID
      19 Response Team successor (formerly SUBHAN CHEEMA); White House COVID-19 Supply
      Coordinator successor (formerly TIMOTHY W. MANNING); Chief Medical Advisor to the
      President, DR. HUGH AUCHINCLOSS, along with their directors, administrators and
      employees; the CYBERSECURITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY AGENCY
      (“CISA”), and specifically the following employees: JEN EASTERLY, Director of CISA; KIM
      WYMAN, Senior Cybersecurity Advisor and Senior Election Security Leader; LAUREN
      PROTENTIS; GEOFFREY HALE; ALLISON SNELL; BRIAN SCULLY, Officials of CISA;
      the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (“DHS”), and
      specifically the following employees: ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, Secretary of DHS;
      ROBERT SILVERS, Under-Secretary of the Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans; SAMANTHA
      VINOGRAD, Senior Counselor for National Security in the Official of the Secretary for DHS,
      along with their secretary, directors, administrators, and employees; the UNITED STATES
      DEPARTMENT OF STATE (“State Department”), and specifically the following employees:
      LEAH BRAY, Acting Coordinator of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center
      (“GEC”); ALEX FRISBIE, State Department Senior Technical Advisor and member of the
      Technology Engagement Team at the GEC; DANIEL KIMMAGE, Acting Coordinator of the
      GEC, along with their secretary, directors, administrators, and employees ARE HEREBY
      ENJOINED AND RESTRAINED from taking the following actions as to social-media
      companies:
      (1) meeting with social-media companies for the purpose of urging, encouraging,
      pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content
      containing protected free speech posted on social-media platforms;
      3
      (2) specifically flagging content or posts on social-media platforms and/or forwarding
      such to social-media companies urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner for
      removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech;
      (3) urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner social-media
      companies to change their guidelines for removing, deleting, suppressing, or reducing content
      containing protected free speech;
      (4) emailing, calling, sending letters, texting, or engaging in any communication of any
      kind with social-media companies urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner for
      removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech;
      (5) collaborating, coordinating, partnering, switchboarding, and/or jointly working
      with the Election Integrity Partnership, the Virality Project, the Stanford Internet Observatory, or
      any like project or group for the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any
      manner removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content posted with social-media
      companies containing protected free speech;
      (6) threatening, pressuring, or coercing social-media companies in any manner to
      remove, delete, suppress, or reduce posted content of postings containing protected free speech;
      (7) taking any action such as urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any
      manner social-media companies to remove, delete, suppress, or reduce posted content protected
      by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution;
      (8) following up with social-media companies to determine whether the social-media
      companies removed, deleted, suppressed, or reduced previous social-media postings containing
      protected free speech;
      (9) requesting content reports from social-media companies detailing actions taken to
      remove, delete, suppress, or reduce content containing protected free speech; and
      (10) notifying social-media companies to Be on The Lookout (“BOLO”) for postings
      containing protected free speech.
      This Preliminary Injunction precludes said named Defendants, their agents, officers, employees,
      contractors, and all acting in concert with them from the aforementioned conduct. This Preliminary
      Injunction also precludes said named Defendants, their agents, officers, employees, and
      contractors from acting in concert with others who are engaged in said conduct.
      IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the following actions are NOT prohibited by this
      Preliminary Injunction:
      (1) informing social-media companies of postings involving criminal activity or
      criminal conspiracies;
      (2) contacting and/or notifying social-media companies of national security threats,
      extortion, or other threats posted on its platform;
      (3) contacting and/or notifying social-media companies about criminal efforts to
      suppress voting, to provide illegal campaign contributions, of cyber-attacks against election
      infrastructure, or foreign attempts to influence elections;
      (4) informing social-media companies of threats that threaten the public safety or
      security of the United States;
      (5) exercising permissible public government speech promoting government policies
      or views on matters of public concern;
      (6) informing social-media companies of postings intending to mislead voters about
      voting requirements and procedures;
      (7) informing or communicating with social-media companies in an effort to detect,
      prevent, or mitigate malicious cyber activity;
      (8) communicating with social-media companies about deleting, removing,
      suppressing, or reducing posts on social-media platforms that are not protected free speech by the
      Free Speech Clause in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
      IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that no security is required to be posted by Plaintiffs under
      Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65.
      IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Preliminary Injunction Order shall remain in effect
      pending the final resolution of this case or until further orders issue from this Court, the United
      States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, or the Supreme Court of the United States.
      IT IS FURTHER ORDERD that the Motion for Preliminary Injunction [Doc. No. 10] is
      DENIED as to the following Defendants: U.S. Food and Drug Administration; U. S. Department
      of Treasury; U.S. Election Assistance Commission; U. S. Department of Commerce and
      employees Erica Jefferson, Michael Murray, Wally Adeyemo, Steven Frid, Brad Kimberly, and
      Kristen Muthig; and Disinformation Governance Board (“DGB”) and its Director Nina Jankowicz.
      IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that no evidentiary hearing is required at this time.
      IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ request for certification of this proceeding
      as a class action pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. Article 23 (b)(2) is DENIED.
      THUS, DONE AND SIGNED IN MONROE, LOUISIANA, this 4
      th day of July 2023.
      ___________________________________
      TERRY A. DOUGHTY
      UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE



      -----------------------------------------------------------------

      UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
      WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
      MONROE DIVISION
      STATE OF MISSOURI, ET AL. CASE NO. 3:22-CV-01213
      VERSUS JUDGE TERRY A. DOUGHTY
      JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., ET AL. MAG. JUDGE KAYLA D. MCCLUSKY
      MEMORANDUM RULING ON REQUEST
      FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

      At issue before the Court is a Motion for Preliminary Injunction [Doc. No. 10] filed by
      Plaintiffs.1 The Defendants2
      oppose the Motion [Doc. No. 266]. Plaintiffs have filed a reply to the
      opposition [Doc. No. 276]. The Court heard oral arguments on this Motion on May 26, 2023 [Doc.
      No. 288]. Amicus Curiae briefs have been filed in this proceeding on behalf of Alliance Defending
      Freedom,3
      the Buckeye Institute,4
      and Children’s Health Defense.5

      1 Plaintiffs consist of the State of Missouri, the State of Louisiana, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty (“Kheriaty”), Dr. Martin
      Kulldorff (“Kulldorff”), Jim Hoft (“Hoft”), Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya (“Bhattacharya”), and Jill Hines (“Hines”).
      2 Defendants consist of President Joseph R Biden (“President Biden”), Jr, Karine Jean-Pierre (“Jean-Pierre”), Vivek
      H Murthy (“Murthy”), Xavier Becerra (“Becerra”), Dept of Health & Human Services (“HHS”), Dr. Hugh
      Auchincloss (“Auchincloss”), National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (“NIAID”), Centers for Disease
      Control & Prevention (“CDC”), Alejandro Mayorkas (“Mayorkas”), Dept of Homeland Security (“DHS”), Jen
      Easterly (“Easterly”), Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”), Carol Crawford (“Crawford”),
      United States Census Bureau (“Census Bureau”), U. S. Dept of Commerce (“Commerce”), Robert Silvers (“Silvers”),
      Samantha Vinograd (“Vinograd”), Ali Zaidi (“Zaidi”), Rob Flaherty (“Flaherty”), Dori Salcido (“Salcido”), Stuart F.
      Delery (“Delery”), Aisha Shah (“Shah”), Sarah Beran (“Beran”), Mina Hsiang (“Hsiang”), U. S. Dept of Justice
      (“DOJ”), Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Laura Dehmlow (“Dehmlow”), Elvis M. Chan (“Chan”), Jay
      Dempsey (“Dempsey”), Kate Galatas (“Galatas”), Katharine Dealy (“Dealy”), Yolanda Byrd (“Byrd”), Christy Choi
      (“Choi”), Ashley Morse (“Morse”), Joshua Peck (“Peck”), Kym Wyman (“Wyman”), Lauren Protentis (“Protentis”),
      Geoffrey Hale (“Hale”), Allison Snell (“Snell”), Brian Scully (“Scully”), Jennifer Shopkorn (“Shopkorn”), U. S. Food
      & Drug Administration (“FDA”), Erica Jefferson (“Jefferson”), Michael Murray (“Murray”), Brad Kimberly
      (“Kimberly”), U. S. Dept of State (“State”), Leah Bray (“Bray”), Alexis Frisbie (“Frisbie”), Daniel Kimmage
      (“Kimmage”), U. S. Dept of Treasury (“Treasury”), Wally Adeyemo (“Adeyemo”), U. S. Election Assistance
      Commission (“EAC”), Steven Frid (“Frid”), and Kristen Muthig (“Muthig”).
      3
      [Doc. No. 252]
      4
      [Doc. No. 256]
      5
      [Doc. No. 262]
      Case 3:22-cv-01213-TAD-KDM Document 293 Filed 07/04/23 Page 1 of 155 PageID #:
      26792
      2

      I. INTRODUCTION
      I may disapprove of what you say, but I would defend to the death
      your right to say it.
      Evelyn Beatrice Hill, 1906, The Friends of Voltaire

      This case is about the Free Speech Clause in the First Amendment to the United States
      Constitution. The explosion of social-media platforms has resulted in unique free speech issues—
      this is especially true in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are
      true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United
      States’ history. In their attempts to suppress alleged disinformation, the Federal Government, and
      particularly the Defendants named here, are alleged to have blatantly ignored the First
      Amendment’s right to free speech.

      Although the censorship alleged in this case almost exclusively targeted conservative
      speech, the issues raised herein go beyond party lines. The right to free speech is not a member of
      any political party and does not hold any political ideology. It is the purpose of the Free Speech
      Clause of the First Amendment to preserve an uninhibited marketplace of ideas in which truth will
      ultimately prevail, rather than to countenance monopolization of the market, whether it be by
      government itself or private licensee. Red Lion Broadcasting Co., v. F.C.C., 89 S. Ct. 1794, 1806
      (1969).

      ...




      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
      -Nelson Mandela

      Comment



      • 09/11/23 5:56 PM ET
        BY OLAFIMIHAN OSHIN

        Threads, a new text-based social media platform created by industry giant Meta ( formerly named Facebook, Inc.), is now blocking terms related to COVID-19 and vaccines on its search engines. ...

        Meta’s decision comes as COVID-19 has been rising in the U.S., as hospitalizations from the virus increased to 16 percent last week and has been steadily rising since July, according to data from the CDC.

        Public health care workers have criticized Meta’s decision to block COVID-related searches, including World Health Network outreach director Julia Doubleday ...

        https://thehill.com/policy/technolog...spiking-cases/

        Comment


        • sharon sanders
          sharon sanders commented
          Editing a comment
          I made a copy of the above post from another thread to this one.

      • Twitter might be censoring pandemic opinions and information again.

        Update: This issue may be improved. At least in my general feed and 'following' feed, The Highwire's tweets are appearing in a timely manner. I can't speak to any other issues.

        Last edited by Emily; September 16, 2023, 01:23 AM.
        _____________________________________________

        Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic.

        i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

        "...there’s an obvious contest that’s happening between different sectors of the colonial ruling class in this country. And they would, if they could, lump us into their beef, their struggle." ---- Omali Yeshitela, African People’s Socialist Party

        (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
        Never forget Excalibur.

        Comment


        • sharon sanders
          sharon sanders commented
          Editing a comment
          I did not watch the entire video but it appears to me that all of his companies are under regulatory supervision, both by individual states and/or the federal government. As a matter of practical operations he would have to be concerned about what various government entities think about X. Does this influence policy on X? I have no idea but I can't imagine Musk is immune from government pressure.

        • Emily
          Emily commented
          Editing a comment
          Certainly could be government pressure on this one. Also there was a lot of heat from advertisers. I saw this interview of Musk by Linda Yaccarino, Twitter/X's new CEO, done in front of the advertisers a few months ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypZNWjPpOuI They must be a rough group of people because Musk looks very nervous at first. Linda does a skilled job in the interview. X is a business and she is obviously needed.

          She was a partner with the government in advertising the Covid vaccines so we'll see how it goes in that area. Right now there is some sort of 'glitch.' Even followers are not seeing The Highwire's tweets. There are a couple of work arounds if people you follow are disappeared. There is a 'following' tab to the right of the default tab and that might make them more visible. Or you can put them in a list. They have made that easy to do and access later. That should help for now. Then you can test if your comments and likes are showing up on that account.

      • On Missouri v. Biden and "The New Abnormal": Interview With Dr. Aaron Kheriaty

        One of the plaintiffs in the landmark censorship case offers thoughts on last week's ruling, plus a general warning

        Matt Taibbi

        Sep 14, 2023
        Soon to become one of the original plaintiffs in the landmark Missouri v. Biden First Amendment case, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty at the outset of the pandemic began seeing patients come to his clinical practice speaking in ways he hadn’t encountered before, expressing a “weird apocalyptic anxiety” that combined depressive reactions to isolation with paralyzing fixations on social media, commercial news, and various disastrous scientific scenarios.

        Acutely aware of real dangers of Covid-19 — as ethics consultant at the University of California-Irvine hospital he’d sat through “more conversations than I can count” informing families loved ones were dying of the new disease — Kheriaty nonetheless began to tally its psychiatric consequences as well. In late 2020 he wrote The Other Pandemic: The Lockdown Mental Health Crisis, addressing statistics matching his clinical experience. Anxiety disorders had tripled, depressive disorders quadrupled, and 11% of respondents contemplated suicide within 30 days. When it became consensus that questioning lockdowns was equivalent to murder — The Atlantic even ran a headline, “Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice” when Governor Brian Kemp allowed “gyms, churches, hair and nail salons, and tattoo parlors” to reopen — bringing up such issues guaranteed backlash, as he was to find out.

        Between the Other Pandemic article and the signing of the Great Barrington Declaration opposing lockdowns with future co-plaintiffs Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford and Dr. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard, Kheriaty found himself subject to increasingly absurd pressures. In September 2021, for instance, Kheriaty gave an interview to podcaster Alison Morrow that was not only removed by YouTube, and caused Morrow’s account to be frozen, but eventually got Morrow fired from a day job she held with the state of Washington, as bosses demanded she stop all interviews with anyone who “undermined” vaccine mandates. YouTube framed the interview as “misinformation” because it was seen to “contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization.”...


        One of the plaintiffs in the landmark censorship case offers thoughts on last week's ruling, plus a general warning
        _____________________________________________

        Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic.

        i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

        "...there’s an obvious contest that’s happening between different sectors of the colonial ruling class in this country. And they would, if they could, lump us into their beef, their struggle." ---- Omali Yeshitela, African People’s Socialist Party

        (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
        Never forget Excalibur.

        Comment



        • JPMorgan Chase Debanks Dr. Mercola’s Healthcare Business

          by Veronika Kyrylenko July 26, 2023
          ​JPMorgan Chase Bank terminated the accounts of Dr. Joseph Mercola’s healthcare company and its employees with no valid explanation, fueling suspicions of political persecution. The doctor gained a significant following during the Covid pandemic for challenging the official policies and narratives and for selling supplements for the treatment and prevention of Covid. He also ranked No. 1 on the “Disinformation Dozen” list of the Biden administration. Some employees believe the decision was politically motivated against Mercola over his stance on Covid-19.

          Dr. Mercola tweeted Tuesday night, “Chase bank has shut down our business bank accounts along with the accounts of my CEO and CFO, as well as their family members (including spouse and child). They’ve refused to provide any reason for doing so, the oldest account has been active for 18 years.”...

          Observers and those whose accounts were canceled believe it was done for political purposes, as Mercola is No. 1 on the government's "Disinformation Dozen" list. ...






          Dr. Joseph Mercola @mercola

          Hello @ChaseSupport @Chase @AGAshleyMoody @GovRonDeSantis @RobertKennedyJr
          Please reinstate the account of my CFO whose husband has advanced dementia and multiple health issues requiring 24/7 care in the Philippines. Her husband’s pension and medical expenses rely on this account, and it will be exceedingly challenging for her to correct this matter under the current circumstances. I realize my opinions regarding COVID differ significantly from your CEO Jamie Dimon, but there is no reason to punish my employees and their families.


          Image

          Last edited3:19 PM · Jul 27, 2023

          824.2K Views
          _____________________________________________

          Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic.

          i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

          "...there’s an obvious contest that’s happening between different sectors of the colonial ruling class in this country. And they would, if they could, lump us into their beef, their struggle." ---- Omali Yeshitela, African People’s Socialist Party

          (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
          Never forget Excalibur.

          Comment


        • Source: https://www.thefp.com/p/disinvited-f...cal-conference

          Vinay Prasad: Why Was My Talk at a Medical Conference Canceled?
          My job is to terrify cancer cells. But apparently it's not just malignant cells that get uneasy around me.
          Vinay Prasady
          ​October 16, 2023

          As a hematologist-oncologist specializing in cancer drug development, I often quip that my job is to terrify cancer cells. But after my keynote speech at a prominent medical conference was axed for my opinions on the Covid-19 response, I realized that it’s not just malignant cells that get uneasy around me.

          I was set to be the keynote speaker this November at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) annual meeting in Dallas. Then, a vocal minority on X (formerly Twitter) complained. That was all it took for the organizers to cancel my lecture. If you care about free speech and the free flow of ideas, this should alarm you...

          Comment


          • Supreme Court to hear free speech case over government pressure on social media sites to remove content

            By Melissa Quinn
            March 16, 2024 / 7:00 AM EDT / CBS News


            Washington — The Supreme Court on Monday will be weighing whether the government crossed a constitutional line into censorship of lawful speech when it pressured social media platforms to take down content it deemed misleading.

            The case poses a significant test of the First Amendment's free speech protections in the digital age and stems from the Biden administration's efforts to pressure social media platforms to remove content that it said spread falsehoods about the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election.

            The Supreme Court is set to consider at what point the federal government's attempts to protect against misinformation on social media cross into censorship of speech that is constitutionally protected.
            ...

            The Supreme Court on Monday will hear two cases that involve "jawboning," or informal pressure by the government on an intermediary to take certain actions that will suppress speech.
            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
            -Nelson Mandela

            Comment


            • What would Benjamin Franklin do…about social media?

              Harvard Law expert Timothy Edgar outlines the arguments in Murthy v. Missouri and urges the Supreme Court to be guided by the famous founder

              Mar 13, 2024 By Jeff Neal
              ...
              Harvard Law Today: What is this case about?

              Timothy Edgar: This case is about whether the government can be involved in content moderation decisions. And it’s a very important case for social media because social media relies on content moderation. But when the government gets involved, there’s very serious issues about censorship and freedom of speech.

              HLT: And what are the states and individuals that sued the federal government arguing?

              Edgar: Missouri among other states and individuals are arguing that the Biden administration’s involvement in trying to suppress COVID-19 misinformation, especially about vaccines, crossed the line from being public health education to being censorship, by proxy. They argue that the administration was making very aggressive, specific suggestions to those social media companies, either to remove or to downgrade certain kinds of posts, and that by doing that, they transformed the private decisions that those companies made — principally Facebook and Twitter, now X — into public decisions, and that would amount to censorship.

              HLT: How does the Biden administration respond?

              Edgar: The federal government says this was a voluntary, cooperative effort between social media and the government to combat misinformation and improve public health. They also argue that the government has long engaged in public health education and that even if the government expresses its views bluntly, it has a responsibility to express those views. The First Amendment and concerns about censorship, they say, don’t prevent the government from expressing an opinion about what information is or isn’t truthful when it comes to public health, or to tell a social media platform, “We think that under your policies, you should be taking action to combat this misinformation.”

              HLT: Who has the better argument, in your view?

              Edgar: My opinion is that they’re both right and that we need to get some clarity from the courts about where that line is between engagement and public health or other issues as well, such as terrorism, online radicalization, efforts to remove child sexual abuse material, and a whole range of other public policy issues that involve content moderation on social media. We need guidance from the courts about what communications are okay, and what communications cross the line.
              ...
              Harvard Law expert Timothy Edgar outlines the arguments in Murthy v. Missouri and urges the Supreme Court to be guided by famous founder Benjamin Franklin.


              ----------------------------------------------

              Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey Challenges Biden’s Censorship Regime at SCOTUS

              Home 9 Press Release 9 Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey Challenges Biden’s Censorship Regime at SCOTUS

              Today, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced that the United States Supreme Court heard his challenge to the Biden administration’s vast censorship enterprise targeting conservative viewpoints. At stake is the court order blocking the White House, Surgeon General, FBI, DHS, and CDC from continuing to violate the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans.

              “Today, the United States Supreme Court heard the most important First Amendment case in this nation’s history. I’m proud that Missouri is leading it,” said Attorney General Bailey.
              ...
              Missouri v. Biden was filed by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana on May 5, 2022. The Court granted their motion for discovery on July 12, 2022, clearing the way for Missouri and Louisiana to gather documents and depose witnesses from the Biden Administration.

              Missouri and Louisiana deposed top-ranking officials in the federal government under oath, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan, Eric Waldo of the Surgeon General’s Office, Carol Crawford of the CDC, Brian Scully of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and Daniel Kimmage of the State Department.

              General Bailey and then-Attorney General Landry filed their motion for preliminary injunction on March 6, 2023, citing more than 1,400 facts showing that top officials in the federal government coerced and colluded with big tech social media companies to violate Americans’ right to free speech.

              On July 4, 2023, the federal district court granted Missouri and Louisiana’s motion to block top officials in the federal government from continuing to violate the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans. The Fifth Circuit upheld the injunction twice.

              The Fifth Circuit’s ruling can be read here.



              -------------------------------------------------------

              Oral Argument Date Argued
              23-411
              Murthy, Surgeon Gen. v. Missouri
              03/18/24


              SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

              IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

              VIVEK H. MURTHY, SURGEON GENERAL, )
              ET AL., )
              Petitioners, )
              v. ) No. 23-411
              MISSOURI, ET AL., )
              Respondents. )
              Pages: 1 through 125
              Place: Washington, D.C.
              Date: March 18, 2024

              "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
              -Nelson Mandela

              Comment

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