WASHINGTON, D.C. – A federal judge is telling the Biden administration to limit how much contact they have with social media platforms. A lawsuit alleges the administration is encouraging these companies to censor right-winged content but others said social media platforms are not doing enough to combat misinformation.
This lawsuit was filed last May but a federal judge in Louisiana ordered these restrictions on the Biden administration on July 4th. According to the documents, the federal judge said the Biden administration cannot talk to social media companies 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 ruling goes on to say the administration can alert social media platforms about postings involving criminal activity or criminal conspiracies, national security threats or other threats.
Some worry that this ruling will hurt efforts trying to combat false information about the covid pandemic and other issues. The New York Times writes the order could have significant first amendment implications. The article adds that this is a major development in a fierce legal fight over the boundaries and limits of speech online.
In the initial court filing back in May, a handful of republican-led states that filed the lawsuit alleges the administration has spent years to censor viewpoints and speakers disfavored by the left and content on social media platforms under the Orwellian guise of halting so-called ‘disinformation’. But democrats have said that social media companies like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, just to name a few, are not doing enough to curb misinformation.
Even though this lawsuit names the president and dozens of other officials in different government agencies, some of the references the lawsuit cited took place during the Trump administration.
The ruling says the injunction would remain in place while the lawsuit proceeds unless the judge or a higher court ruled differently.