in ,

The Biden Administration is Coming for Your Freedom of Speech

Federal Judge Halts Biden’s Online Speech Intervention


A Fourth of July’s sky would naturally light up with fireworks, but the unexpected light show arose from a federal courthouse in Monroe, Louisiana this time.

In an assertive judgment unprecedented in its scope, US District Judge Terry Doughty served a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration. He categorically demanded the halting of attempts to dissuade tech giants from sharing user comments which the government deems misleading or false.

The legal challenge was brought forward by Missouri and Louisiana Attorneys General along with individual litigants against President Biden and multiple federal departments recently. They argue that the current administration’s crusade against online ‘disinformation’ has devolved into an intimidation campaign.

This pressure is allegedly towards behemoths like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to commit acts of censorship, which would be illegal if directly conducted by the government.


Stay Updated on the REAL NEWS
Subscribe Here

The litigants presented substantial proof of an extensive effort by White House officials to convince Facebook and Twitter to erase user comments expressing doubts about COVID-19 vaccines. This occurred even when these user comments did not breach the companies’ guidelines.

These tech platforms not only logged these users out of their profiles, they eradicated their most debatable posts or restricted other network users from reading those posts.

Judge Doughty penned his acceptance of the plaintiffs’ strong argument claiming they were the subjected to expansive and far-flung censorship.

He further noted that if the accusations marshalled against the government are proven true, this case will likely stand as the largest assault on freely spoken word in the history of the United States.

Doughty’s injunction includes multiple federal agencies, chief among them are the Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI.

The injunction blocks these regulatory bodies from liaising with social networking sites with an intention ‘to encourage, pressure or influence, in whichever way, the obliteration, removal, suppression or reduction of content having protected free speech’.

Several internet policy experts that the Globe contacted expressed their reservations about the injunction.

However, few of them found salient merits in Judge Doughty’s judgment. Nathaniel Lubin, who formerly headed the Office of Digital Strategy under President Obama’s administration and is now a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, opined that federal authorities were within their rights to deter COVID misinformation.

As Lubin pointed out, they were addressing a critical period when 1.1 million lives had been lost due to the pandemic. These were the individuals seated in bureaucratic power trying to abate a national crisis. Lubin agreed that the government had been assertive with the social media giants, although he finds zero confirmation that they crossed any lines.

His perspective is that they were expressing a position meant to advocate a cause, but they did not instruct the companies directly. However, on the other hand, David Greene, who is the civil liberties director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, indicated that the judge aptly noted the troubling evidence that could denote potential governmental overreach.

It was inferred that the Biden administration might contemplate antitrust lawsuits against social media companies that failed to comply.

Greene referred to Judge Doughty’s ruling as an identification of a possible crossing of constitutional boundaries by the government in various instances. He added that other examples mentioned in the injunction probably appear more as innocent attempts to convince by governmental authorities rather than outright coercion.

Greene further mentioned that a broad range of exemptions are still present within Doughty’s injunction.

The order continues to allow government officials to ask social media companies to clamp down on posts relating to criminal activities, suspected conspiracies, threats to national security, and interference in electoral integrity. In his opinion, these exceptions engulf many of the prohibitions.

William Duffield, a policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, argues that the plaintiffs have presented a sound case to suggest they were censored.

Instead of imposing a ban on governmental interactions with social media entities, Duffield suggested that these interactions be allowed, documented, and made public.

This idea was proposed with the intent of allowing government agencies to express appropriate concerns while preventing potential abuse of their authoritative powers. Concurring with his fellow analysts, Duffield mentioned, ‘There’s no denying the instances that possibly indicate governmental overreach’.

However, his major concern remained the countermeasures to be adopted in the aftermath of this revelation.

As various circles present their debates and justifications, it seems that their focus involuntarily vindicates one important ideological principle: the bedrock value of free speech that the United States stand by and its continued significance in a rapidly digitalizing world.

The lawsuit and the response it has triggered from different sides provide a vital outlook on the role of government, free speech, and today’s digital powerhouses.

As the story unfolds, we are reminded of the balance that needs to be struck between guiding the public in times of crisis and honoring the sanctity of free speech.

While the dialogue on the line between advocacy and overreach continues, one thing is clear – the role of social media as the modern public square is under scrutiny.

This debate and the decision that will follow have wide implications for the relationship between government, social media giants, and the future of free speech in our digitized age.


Stay Updated on the REAL NEWS
Subscribe Here