On Thursday, a lawsuit was filed by two Republican-led states which alleged that President Joe Biden and other administration officials "pressured and colluded" with Big Tech companies to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story as well as information regarding the lab leak origin theory of COVID-19 and the security of voting by mail.
According to Fox News, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed the lawsuit against top administration officials in US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
The lawsuit accuses top government officials of conspiring with social media giants Meta, YouTube, and Twitter "under the guise of combating misinformation" in order to achieve greater censorship.
The lawsuit names a number of top officials within the Biden administration, including: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Chief Medical Advisor and NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and newly announced director of the DHS’s Disinformation Governance Board.
The lawsuit also names entire departments: the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The lawsuit alleges that the federal government had violated constitutional rights to suppress free speech in "one of its greatest assaults by federal government officials in the Nation’s history."
The defendants allegedly "coerced, threatened, and pressured social media platforms to censor disfavored speakers and viewpoints by using threats of adverse government action," according to the lawsuit.
The filing states: "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 lawsuit states that "labeling disfavored speech 'misinformation' or 'disinformation' does not strip it of First Amendment protection."
It notes that instead of censorship, "counterspeech" is the correct response to "misinformation."
The lawsuit looks at a number of specific examples where social media companies had allegedly removed "truthful" information, like the Hunter Biden laptop story, the Wuhan lab leak theory, messaging regarding the security of voting by mail, and COVID-19 mask efficacy.
"In direct contravention to the First Amendment and freedom of speech, the Biden Administration has been engaged in a pernicious campaign to both pressure social media giants to censor and suppress speech and work directly with those platforms to achieve that censorship in a misguided and Orwellian campaign against 'misinformation,'" Schmitt told Fox News in a statement.
"I will not stand idly by while the Biden Administration attempts to trample on the First Amendment rights of Missourians and Americans."
"Big Tech has become an extension of Biden’s Big Government, and neither are protecting the freedoms of Americans; rather, they are suppressing truth and demonizing those who think differently," said Landry.
"Ripped from the playbook of Stalin and his ilk, Biden has been colluding with Big Tech to censor free speech and propagandize the masses. We are fighting back to ensure the rule of law and prevent the government from unconstitutional banning, chilling, and stifling of speech," headed.
Looking at the Hunter Biden laptop story that the New York Post broke in 2020 shortly before the election, noting how "Biden, his allies, and those acting in concert with them falsely attacked the Hunter Biden laptop story as 'disinformation.'"
"On information and belief, the individual Defendants and those acting in concert with them have conspired and colluded to suppress Americans’ First Amendment and analogous state-law rights to freedom of expression on social-media platforms, and to be exposed to free expression on such platforms, and they have taken many overt actions to achieve this goal."
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