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Suppression of Free Speech on Covid

Kenny

Face to face with my Father
Premium Member
The Biden administration "ran afoul" of the First Amendment by trying to pressure social media platforms over controversial COVID-19 content, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Friday.



I think not only did they pressure websites -- but also silenced opposing medical voices to maintain a narrative. IMV

Makes one wonder how many platforms were forced to police, or make their own decision, as to what was right and what was wrong violating Constitutional free speech and the conversations that were pertinent to the issue.
 

metis

aged ecumenical anthropologist
The Biden administration "ran afoul" of the First Amendment by trying to pressure social media platforms over controversial COVID-19 content, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Friday.



I think not only did they pressure websites -- but also silenced opposing medical voices to maintain a narrative. IMV

Makes one wonder how many platforms were forced to police, or make their own decision, as to what was right and what was wrong violating Constitutional free speech and the conversations that were pertinent to the issue.
"Free speech" has it's limitations, such as "shouting fire in a theater" if there's no fire. Or how about those who passed on classified information to the Soviets or, later, the Russians? Or preventing reporters from seeing detained "illegals".

It's not an either/or thingy, so it has to be handled with kid gloves and why we have courts.

Free speech is an important thing to consider, but so is watching millions of people dying because of misinformation, such as vaccines and masks don't work.
 

Whateverist

Active Member
"Free speech" has it's limitations, such as "shouting fire in a theater" if there's no fire. Or how about those who passed on classified information to the Soviets or, later, the Russians? Or preventing reporters from seeing detained "illegals".

It's not an either/or thingy, so it has to be handled with kid gloves and why we have courts.

Free speech is an important thing to consider, but so is watching millions of people dying because of misinformation, such as vaccines and masks don't work.

I agree. The government has responsibility not only to protect free speech but also to protect the public in a pandemic. It’s like morality on a personal level. We have oughts and nots that sometimes conflict. Easy, obvious resolutions are not always found. You do your best and call it a day.
 

Kenny

Face to face with my Father
Premium Member
"Free speech" has it's limitations, such as "shouting fire in a theater" if there's no fire. Or how about those who passed on classified information to the Soviets or, later, the Russians? Or preventing reporters from seeing detained "illegals".

It's not an either/or thingy, so it has to be handled with kid gloves and why we have courts.

Free speech is an important thing to consider, but so is watching millions of people dying because of misinformation, such as vaccines and masks don't work.
I don't think this was a fire in the movie theater...

Controlling all questions and medical viewpoints that are contrary to the "status quo" is thought control and totalitarianism. There is a reason they fear freedom of speech. There is a reason why people don't like freedom of speech. Your voice may be next if you don't agree with the government.
 

anna.

Well-Known Member
Some additional context, remainder at the link:


The decision was likely to be seen as victory for conservatives who’ve long argued that social media platforms’ content moderation efforts restrict their free speech rights. But some advocates also said the ruling was an improvement over a temporary injunction U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty issued July 4.

David Greene, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the new injunction was “a thousand times better” than what Doughty, an appointee of former president Trump, had ordered originally.

Doughty’s decision had affected a wide range of government departments and agencies, and imposed 10 specific prohibitions on government officials. The appeals court threw out nine of those and modified the 10th to limit it to efforts to “coerce or significantly encourage social-media companies to remove, delete, suppress, or reduce, including through altering their algorithms, posted social-media content containing protected free speech.”

The 5th Circuit panel also limited the government institutions affected by its ruling to the White House, the surgeon general’s office, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI. It removed restrictions Doughty had imposed on the departments of State, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services and on agencies including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The 5th Circuit found that those agencies had not coerced the social media companies to moderate their sites.

Read the 5th Circuit's ruling

The judges wrote that the White House likely “coerced the platforms to make their moderation decisions by way of intimidating messages and threats of adverse consequences.” They also found the White House “significantly encouraged the platforms’ decisions by commandeering their decision-making processes, both in violation of the First Amendment.”

A White House spokesperson said in a statement that the Justice Department was “reviewing” the decision and evaluating its options.
“This Administration has promoted responsible actions to protect public health, safety, and security when confronted by challenges like a deadly pandemic and foreign attacks on our elections,” the White House official said. “Our consistent view remains that social media platforms have a critical responsibility to take account of the effects their platforms are having on the American people, but make independent choices about the information they present.”

The decision is likely to have a wide-ranging impact on how the federal government communicates with the public and the social media companies about key public health issues and the 2024 elections.

The case is the most successful salvo to date in a growing conservative legal and political effort to limit coordination between the federal government and tech platforms. This case and recent probes in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives have accused government officials of actively colluding with platforms to influence public discourse, in an evolution of long-running allegations that liberal employees inside tech companies favor Democrats when making decisions about what posts are removed or limited online.

The appeals court judges found that pressure from the White House and the CDC affected how social media platforms handled posts about covid-19 in 2021, as the Biden administration sought to encourage the public to obtain vaccinations.

The judges detail multiple emails and statements from White House officials that they say show escalating threats and pressure on the social media companies to address covid misinformation. The judges say that the officials “were not shy in their requests,” calling for posts to be removed “ASAP” and appearing “persistent and angry.” The judges detailed a particularly contentious period in July of 2021, which reached a boiling point when President Biden accused Facebook of “killing people.”

“We find, like the district court, that the officials’ communications — reading them in ‘context, not in isolation’ — were on-the-whole intimidating,” the judges wrote.

The judges also zeroed in on the FBI’s communications with tech platforms in the run-up to the 2020 elections, which included regular meetings with the tech companies. The judges wrote that the FBI’s activities were “not limited to purely foreign threats,” citing instances where the law enforcement agency “targeted” posts that originated inside the United States, including some that stated incorrect poll hours or mail-in voting procedures.

The judges said in their rulings that the platforms changed their policies based on the FBI briefings, citing updates to their terms of service about handling of hacked materials, following warnings of state-sponsored “hack and dump” operations.

The judges, however, found some of the government communications enjoined by the district court to be permissible, including those of former chief medical adviser to the president, Anthony S. Fauci. They said the record did not show that Fauci communicated directly with the platforms and said his efforts to promote the government’s scientific and policy views did not “run afoul of the First Amendment.”

They also found that the lower court erred in barring CISA’s interactions with the companies, finding that its efforts to flag content to the platforms did not amount to “attempts to coerce” the companies’ moderation decisions.

Chris Krebs, the CISA chief fired by Trump over his endorsement of the 2020 election result, said he found the ruling “reassuring.”
“This ruling eviscerated the district court decision,” Krebs said.

The judges also said there was no evidence that the State Department’s communications with the platforms “went beyond educating the platforms on ‘tools and techniques’ used by foreign actors.”

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and it was not immediately clear if it would appeal the ruling. The order will take effect in 10 days, unless the government seeks intervention from the Supreme Court.
 

metis

aged ecumenical anthropologist
I don't think this was a fire in the movie theater...

Controlling all questions and medical viewpoints that are contrary to the "status quo" is thought control and totalitarianism. There is a reason they fear freedom of speech. There is a reason why people don't like freedom of speech. Your voice may be next if you don't agree with the government.
How much "freedom of speech" does a dead person have?

We know the stats on this, we know the comparisons of those countries that acted responsibly and know those countries that didn't. It is unethical for a person to deny these facts and go in the direction of what politicians may say. If you want to go with the politicians, that's your choice, but it's a shame how many people have suffered, and way too many died, because they chose to go with politics and not the research and common sense and common decency.

We know that Trump discouraged people to get the vaccines even though he had done a good job at first allocating funds to help develop the vaccines. After that, it went downhill with him and some other politicians, mostly Pubs.

For you to insinuate I'm not for freedom of speech is nonsense, but as I posted previously it should not be an absolute. Jesus taught the Truth was imperative, but so many others continually ignored and still ignore his message.
 

Twilight Hue

Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.
The Biden administration "ran afoul" of the First Amendment by trying to pressure social media platforms over controversial COVID-19 content, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Friday.



I think not only did they pressure websites -- but also silenced opposing medical voices to maintain a narrative. IMV

Makes one wonder how many platforms were forced to police, or make their own decision, as to what was right and what was wrong violating Constitutional free speech and the conversations that were pertinent to the issue.
The censorship over fears of Covid 'misinformation' has certainly gotten out of control with the left wing.

That much is obvious.
 

anna.

Well-Known Member
The censorship over fears of Covid 'misinformation' has certainly gotten out of control with the left wing.

That much is obvious.

The conspiracies and disinformation regarding Covid certainly was out of control with the right wing.

That much was obvious.

90
 

sun rise

The world is on fire
Premium Member
The Biden administration "ran afoul" of the First Amendment by trying to pressure social media platforms over controversial COVID-19 content, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Friday.



I think not only did they pressure websites -- but also silenced opposing medical voices to maintain a narrative. IMV

Makes one wonder how many platforms were forced to police, or make their own decision, as to what was right and what was wrong violating Constitutional free speech and the conversations that were pertinent to the issue.

Did the administration go too far? We'll see if this is appealed and what the outcome is. The ruling dramatically narrowed the initial finding so that's important to note as well.

But in general we have to be careful because, as another new story noted: The Trump administration also communicated with platforms about content it objected to. After Twitter fact-checked then-President Donald Trump's tweets in 2020, Trump signed an executive order taking aim at an important legal shield for online platforms. So rules have to apply to everyone.

And I presume that you also have the same feeling about the suppression of free speech in places like Florida where books are removed from libraries, teachers are told what they can't teach and so forth. And of course, we have the other case where a newly elected judge in Wisonsin might be impeached for what she's said not for her actions.
 

Kenny

Face to face with my Father
Premium Member
For you to insinuate I'm not for freedom of speech is nonsense, but as I posted previously it should not be an absolute. Jesus taught the Truth was imperative, but so many others continually ignored and still ignore his message.

WHOAAA they're horsey! NO such thing! You read into that one. I would never do that to you!!!!
We know that Trump discouraged people to get the vaccines even though he had done a good job at first allocating funds to help develop the vaccines. After that, it went downhill with him and some other politicians, mostly Pubs.

I got a different impression. I believe he even took the vaccines... https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/01/politics/trump-melania-vaccinated-white-house/index.html

This post isn't about vaccines, who promoted it, and it effectiveness... it is about the silencing of peoples freedom of speech.
 

Kenny

Face to face with my Father
Premium Member
Did the administration go too far? We'll see if this is appealed and what the outcome is. The ruling dramatically narrowed the initial finding so that's important to note as well.

But in general we have to be careful because, as another new story noted: The Trump administration also communicated with platforms about content it objected to. After Twitter fact-checked then-President Donald Trump's tweets in 2020, Trump signed an executive order taking aim at an important legal shield for online platforms. So rules have to apply to everyone.

And I presume that you also have the same feeling about the suppression of free speech in places like Florida where books are removed from libraries, teachers are told what they can't teach and so forth. And of course, we have the other case where a newly elected judge in Wisonsin might be impeached for what she's said not for her actions.

Yes.. we do have to be careful because any party will continue doing what becomes the norm.

As far as books... no one silenced the books, they simply moved it to age appropriate areas unless you don't mind have 3 year olds playing with guns.
 

Shadow Wolf

Certified People sTabber & Business Owner
I don't think this was a fire in the movie theater...

Controlling all questions and medical viewpoints that are contrary to the "status quo" is thought control and totalitarianism. There is a reason they fear freedom of speech. There is a reason why people don't like freedom of speech. Your voice may be next if you don't agree with the government.
Look at other countries! Australia didn't suffer like America. New Zealand did not suffer like America. Lots of places didn't, but America is stuffed full of scientifically illiterate idiots who selfishly declared they knkw better than real experts and proclaimed their selfishness takes precedence over combating a deadly pandemic that has claimed millions.
Now, try again when you're ready to acknowledge the severity that was the situation and why it really is like shouting fire in a crowded people (both got people needlessly killed and severely injured).
 

Kenny

Face to face with my Father
Premium Member
Look at other countries! Australia didn't suffer like America. New Zealand did not suffer like America. Lots of places didn't, but America is stuffed full of scientifically illiterate idiots who selfishly declared they knkw better than real experts and proclaimed their selfishness takes precedence over combating a deadly pandemic that has claimed millions.
Now, try again when you're ready to acknowledge the severity that was the situation and why it really is like shouting fire in a crowded people (both got people needlessly killed and severely injured).
We are talking about free speech... please don't change the subject
 

sun rise

The world is on fire
Premium Member
Yes.. we do have to be careful because any party will continue doing what becomes the norm.

As far as books... no one silenced the books, they simply moved it to age appropriate areas unless you don't mind have 3 year olds playing with guns.
The record from many decades shows that is not a correct statement. Banned & Challenged Classics

Also the Bible was challenged because of some of its passages. Do you want the government to decide that the Bible contains such material based on "Answering Christianity"'s list using the same criteria that some are using on other books?
 

Kenny

Face to face with my Father
Premium Member
The record from many decades shows that is not a correct statement. Banned & Challenged Classics

Also the Bible was challenged because of some of its passages. Do you want the government to decide that the Bible contains such material based on "Answering Christianity"'s list using the same criteria that some are using on other books?
So, if I understand you correctly, you are all for pornographic materials for elementary school?

PS... If they want to take the bible out... ok by me! You can get them free if you want one.
 
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Sargonski

Well-Known Member
The Biden administration "ran afoul" of the First Amendment by trying to pressure social media platforms over controversial COVID-19 content, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Friday.



I think not only did they pressure websites -- but also silenced opposing medical voices to maintain a narrative. IMV

Makes one wonder how many platforms were forced to police, or make their own decision, as to what was right and what was wrong violating Constitutional free speech and the conversations that were pertinent to the issue.

The spooks had their own office at facebook and google .. in its efforts to "Engineer Consent" === for a policy driven by the Drug Lobby. .. was disturbing as it gets .. Forced medical treatment -- demonization and marginalization of dissenters as "Unclean"

Youtube is still censuring Covid Content .. and do you think this will change with this ruling .. I doubt it. Censuring Ukraine War content as well.
 

Shadow Wolf

Certified People sTabber & Business Owner
The spooks had their own office at facebook and google .. in its efforts to "Engineer Consent" === for a policy driven by the Drug Lobby. .. was disturbing as it gets .. Forced medical treatment -- demonization and marginalization of dissenters as "Unclean"

Youtube is still censuring Covid Content .. and do you think this will change with this ruling .. I doubt it. Censuring Ukraine War content as well.
:rolleyes:
 

Twilight Hue

Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.
The conspiracies and disinformation regarding Covid certainly was out of control with the right wing.

That much was obvious.

90
Only the left wing would intentionally delete such information whenever they are able to because they think they are the only right ones on the matter and no one else.
 
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