A federal judge on Tuesday, July 4, announced the establishment of a ban on the interaction of some agencies of the Joe Biden administration and senior officials with companies that own social networks.
In a certain sense, this court decision is a legal victory for the Republican Party, which, as part of the legal proceedings, has charged the US government with excessive actions to combat the spread of false information about coronavirus infection.
In a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, many federal agencies and more than ten high-ranking officials fell under the obligation to stop any practice of communication with companies that own social networks regarding the removal of information materials containing what is commonly referred to as protected free speech.
Also, the text of the resolution separately states that the list of the government’s powers to interact with virtual platforms remains the possibility of implementing efforts to prevent activities outside the law and eliminate threats to national security.
The injunction concerns the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Justice and the FBI, officials such as U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Terry Doughty stated that agencies and officials do not have the right to label content and publications posted on social networks and send relevant materials to the owners of virtual platforms to call, encourage or pressure them to delete or reduce certain amounts of information related to the category of protected freedom of speech.
Instagram, WeChat, Facebook/Meta, Twitter, YouTube/Google, WhatsApp, TikTok, and the number of other online platforms are specified in the text of the injunction that the companies operating in social networks and owning the corresponding digital systems.
The representative of the White House, referred to by the media without naming his name and position, said that the Ministry of Justice is reviewing this court decision and will evaluate possible alternatives to the resolution of the proceedings. According to him, as part of its efforts to combat the spread of disinformation, the presidential administration demonstrated a responsible approach to protecting public health, occupational safety, and security against the background of countering challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic and external interference in the election process.
He also said that the White House adheres to the position of the responsibility of social media platforms in their independent assessment of their impact on society. Separately, he noted that these companies ultimately make a solo choice about what information they distribute.
The owners of social media platforms have not yet provided any comments on the injunction.
The lawsuit filed by the attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana in 2022 is a new way to promote censorship claims that contain accusations against the Joe Biden administration regarding the alleged suppression of the spread of conservative thought with the support of private social media companies.
Terry Doughty has not yet made a final decision on the fact of the prosecutor’s claims, but the ruling made public on Tuesday is their interim success in the trial. As part of the lawsuit, the judge demanded that the presidential administration provide documents containing information about the identities of government officials and the essence of their communication with companies that own virtual platforms.
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