Biden administration SUED for ‘censoring’ free speech: Lawsuit accuses President, Karine Jean-Pierre, ‘Mary Poppins of disinformation’ and slew of officials of ‘a disturbing amount of collusion’ with social media firms to quash critical stories
- Republican attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri are behind the lawsuit
- It names 67 government officials or entities as having ‘worked hand-in-hand’ with social media companies to censor stories on elections, COVID, & economy
- They’re seeking to depose ‘key defendants’ and will ask a judge on Friday
- ‘This egregious attack on our First Amendment will be met with an equally full-hearted defense of the rights of the American people,’ Louisiana AG Landry said
The Republican attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri are accusing the Biden administration of having ‘worked hand-in-hand’ with social media giants to ‘censor’ news stories that reflect negatively on the White House.
‘Throughout this case, we have uncovered a disturbing amount of collusion between Big Tech and Big Government,’ Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement on Monday.
‘This egregious attack on our First Amendment will be met with an equally full-hearted defense of the rights of the American people.’
The 164-page lawsuit was filed late last week, but an updated Monday filing indicates that the Republican officials are widening their legal efforts to target 47 more government departments, agencies and officials in addition to the 20 defendants originally listed.
President Joe Biden, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Nina Jankowicz, who was meant to head Biden’s now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board, are among the dozens of defendants listed in the suit.
The board’s critics had decried it as ‘Orwellian’ and mocked Jankowicz as the White House’s ‘Mary Poppins of disinformation’ after a social media surfaced of her singing about the dangers of misinformation to the tune of ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.’
President Joe Biden and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre are two of the 67 government officials and entities named in Louisiana and Missouri’s lawsuit
It’s also a central focus of the Republican-led lawsuit, which accuses Jankowicz of arranging a ‘cozy’ meeting between Twitter executives and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as well as other top officials, to discuss ‘public-private partnerships’ and election security.
‘Jankowicz has called for more aggressive censorship of election-related speech by social-media platforms, and has implied that social-media censorship of election-related speech should never relent or be reduced,’ the lawsuit states.
Other topics the Biden administration is accused of working to censor are stories on COVID-19 and more recently, White House officials’ insistence that the US economy is not careening toward a downturn.
They said the head of Biden’s now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board ‘has called for more aggressive censorship of election-related speech by social-media platforms, and has implied that social-media censorship of election-related speech should never relent or be reduced’
‘[S]ocial-media platforms are beginning to censor criticisms of the Biden Administration’s attempt to redefine the word “recession” in light of recent news that the U.S. economy has suffered two consecutive quarters of reduction in GDP,’ the suit claims.
It points to a Fox News article about Facebook fact-checking an economist who claimed the US was in a recession.
‘Thus, Defendants’ conduct alleged herein has created, with extraordinary efficacy, a situation where Americans seeking to exercise their core free-speech right to criticize the President of the United States are subject to aggressive prior restraint by private companies acting at the bidding of government officials.’
The attorneys general argue that such coverage ‘is intolerable’ by First Amendment standards.
They also accuse the White House and related entities of running ‘open and explicit censorship programs.
‘Having threatened and cajoled social-media platforms for years to censor viewpoints and speakers disfavored by the Left, senior government officials in the Executive Branch have moved into a phase of open collusion with social-media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social-media platforms under the Orwellian guise of halting so-called “disinformation,” “misinformation,” and “malinformation,”‘ the court filing states.
Landry and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt are also planning on asking the court Friday to compel several ‘key defendants’ to be deposed under oath.
They accused the 67 defendants of exercising a power imbalance against social media companies by lavishing them with certain benefits and then threatening to take them away if the tech executives did not comply.
The lawsuit argues that social media censorship of stories is harmful to the American public’s access to information given how many people rely on such platforms to get their everyday news.
It also suggests notes of hypocrisy in what topics are viewed as problematic.
For instance, Schmitt and Landry argue that YouTube’s misinformation policy is ‘openly content and viewpoint-biased’ because it censored topics related to 2020 election fraud claims but not videos purporting since-debunked links between the Donald Trump and Russia that circulated during the 2016 election.
‘Defendants herein, colluding and coordinating with each other, have also directly coordinated and colluded with social-media platforms to identify disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content and thus have procured the actual censorship and suppression of the freedom of speech,’ Landry and Schmitt claim.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the White House for comment.
Landry and Schmitt announced Monday that they were adding 47 more defendants on top of the 20 that were already accused
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