ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — During the pandemic, we were overwhelmed with information on vaccines, where to get COVID tests, social distancing and more, but many claim some of those posts were censored, and they’re blaming the White House. As part of a lawsuit over government censorship, a federal judge temporarily blocked the Biden administration from communicating with Big Tech.
“I don’t believe they’re saying social media companies don’t have a right to moderate their content, it really seems to be ‘Is the government becoming too involved?’ So I think that’s really the heart of the lawsuit,” said Ryan McCall, an attorney with Tully Rinckey. According to the ruling, the Biden Administration – including the Department of Health and FBI – can’t have any communication with social media companies.
The case was brought on by Republican Louisiana Attorney General, Jeff Landry and former Missouri Attorney General, Eric Schmitt. They claim members of the Biden administration purposely suppressed conservative-leaning free speech. “This dates back to a lot of the issues where some places like Facebook would say ‘Hey this is being flagged for potentially being misleading information related to covid.’ Now they’re saying the federal government is not allowed to weigh in on that. Meaning they can’t reach out to their contacts and say ‘We’ve noticed that this person has begun posting certain things .. that goes somewhat contrary to what the federal government wants to do,'” explained McCall.
In part, the plaintiffs claim Big Tech censorship was happening in posts pertaining to the following issues: efficiency of masks, COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccines; but it includes other controversial issues at the time including Hunter Biden’s laptop investigation, voting by mail and the 2020 presidential election. The federal judge’s conclusion reads: “The Plaintiffs have presented substantial evidence in support of their claims that they were the victims of a far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign.” So what’s next? “It will be interesting to see if this does in fact go to a trial, what each side plans on introducing as evidence,” said McCall. We’ll keep you updated with the latest.