While Americans were enjoying hot dogs and fireworks this Fourth of July, federal Judge Terry A. Doughty commemorated Independence Day by striking a blow for the separation of big tech and state. Specifically, he issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting a number of government officials and agencies from communicating with social media companies to request they censor certain posts.
Judge Doughty wrote that, “If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.” This may seem like hyperbole until one considers that the list of those affected by this injunction includes White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State and Health and Human Services Departments, as well as the Justice Department and the FBI.
Among the plaintiffs are Harvard Professor Martin Kulldorff and Stanford Professor Jay Bhattacharya. Professors Kulldorff and Bhattacharya were among the health experts who big tech censored at the behest of government because they dared question the government’s message regarding covid. People questioning government supported claims of the benefits of lockdowns, the efficacy and safety of covid vaccines, the use of masks to protect against infection, and vaccine immunity being superior to natural immunity was silenced.
Eventually the establishment was forced to admit that many of the arguments of those like Kulldorff and Bhattacharya were correct. However, by that point many of those courageous enough to speak out had already suffered irreparable damage to their reputations and careers. Contrary to the covid authoritarians and other users of science claims to promote statist policies like the anti-“climate change” movement, science is in fact never settled.
While much of the lawsuit concerns covid censorship, some of the components revolve around efforts to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story. The effort to suppress and discredit the story may have influenced the election. Some Biden voters would have voted differently had they had full access to the information.
The suppression of the truth about covid and the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story were both justified as serving a “higher good.” With regard to covid, the online censorship was justified as necessary to protect public health. In the case of the laptop story, it was justified as necessary to prevent Donald Trump from winning a second term. The now more widely known revelations regarding Hunter Biden’s business dealings and the possibility that his father not just profited from them but used his position in government to be an active participant may help Donald Trump regain the Oval Office in 2024.
Reading the emails between government officials and employees of big tech companies shows that government officials clearly believed they had every right to tell these private companies how to run their businesses. The government officials even “reminded” them that the companies were in danger of having increased regulations imposed on them by the White House and Congress. This shows the folly of those who think that increasing government involvement with big tech will somehow reduce big tech censorship. The only way to make the internet a free speech zone is to build on Judge Doughty’s decision: separate big tech and state.
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