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 July 8, 2023

Emergency order requested by Biden administration to lift ban on big tech censorship coordination

The preliminary injunction ordered by a federal judge prohibiting officials from engaging with social media platforms to suppress protected expression was put on hold, but the Biden administration asked for an emergency order to stop it on Thursday night.

Judge Terry A. Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana granted an injunction on Tuesday. The administration urged him to immediately revoke it or to impose a seven-day administrative stay while their appeal to the Fifth Circuit, which was filed on Wednesday, is being processed, as The Daily Caller reported.

In accordance with Doughty's injunction, federal agents from the FBI, Department of Health and Human Services, and other organizations are forbidden from contacting social media sites.

The ban includes contact for “the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”

The injunction forbids the Biden administration from "collaborating, coordinating, partnering, switchboarding, and/or jointly working with" organizations and initiatives that support censorship, such as the Stanford Internet Observatory, the Election Integrity Partnership, and the Virality Project.

Following the injunction, The Washington Post reports that the State Department has already postponed all next monthly meetings "pending further guidance" including its scheduled meeting with Facebook on Wednesday to discuss cyber concerns and preparations for the 2024 elections.

During a news conference on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the judge's verdict and responded, "We disagree with the decision."

Attorney Generals Jeff Landry of Louisiana and Andrew Bailey of Missouri were the plaintiffs in Missouri v. Biden.

Doughty determined that they had shown "evidence of a massive effort by Defendants, from the White House to federal agencies, to suppress speech based on its content."

The evidence presented thus far "depicts an almost dystopian scenario," according to Doughty.

"Although this case is still relatively young, and at this stage the Court is only examining it in terms of Plaintiffs' likelihood of success on the merits," he wrote.

The United States government appears to have taken on a role like an Orwellian "Ministry of Truth" during the COVID-19 epidemic, a time that was perhaps best described by widespread skepticism and confusion.

In their March request for an injunction, Landry and Bailey claimed that internal government documents they had obtained through their lawsuit had exposed a wide range of government censorship activities, such as the use of "switchboards" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to flag misinformation for removal from social media.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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