Brendan O’Neill Brendan O’Neill

Biden’s ‘Orwellian’ social media crackdown

Joe Biden (Credit: Getty images)

Joe Biden cannot be trusted to protect the American people’s freedom of speech. He needs to be restrained, by law, from interfering with people’s First Amendment right to express themselves as they see fit. That is the implication of an extraordinary preliminary injunction slapped on the Biden administration this week by a federal judge.

The injunction was issued by US District Court judge Terry Doughty. He says Biden officials likely conspired with social media companies to remove content, in particular content on Covid-19, that the government considered undesirable or dangerous. This would represent a flagrant usurping of the First Amendment, he says, which holds that the government shall take no action that might abridge ‘the freedom of speech’. And so, says Judge Doughty, Biden’s people must cut off contact with the bosses of social media.

Here we have a judge implying genuine Orwellianism on the part of the Biden administration

The case was brought by the Republican attorney general of Louisiana, Jeff Landry, and the former Republican attorney general of Missouri, Eric Schmitt. Landry and Schmitt, on behalf of various plaintiffs, insist Biden officials used their connections with the movers and shakers of Silicon Valley to do something they themselves are constitutionally forbidden from doing – restrict people’s free expression. In short, they outsourced censorship. They got the social media oligarchs to do their dirty work for them.

Doughty’s 155-page memorandum explaining his reasons for issuing a ‘preliminary injunction’ against the Biden administration is a chilling read. The Landry/Schmitt case against the government is ongoing, but Doughty says the plaintiffs are ‘likely to succeed on the merits of their First Amendment free-speech claim’. He says it is likely that, during the Covid pandemic, there was an ‘almost dystopian scenario’ of government/corporate censorship, in which the Biden administration ‘seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth”’.

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