It has been reported that two Republican-led states have reportedly filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden and other top administration officials, alleging they “pressured and colluded” with Big Tech companies to squash The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story and censor information related to COVID-19’s lab origins.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, accuses top government officials of conspiring to suppress information with social media giants Meta, Twitter and YouTube “under the guise of combating misinformation,” Fox News reported.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Nina Jankowicz — the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new and controversial “Disinformation Governance Board” were among the other top officials and federal agencies named as defendants in the suit, which was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
The 86-page suit accuses the federal government of violating free speech rights by threatening big tech companies into silencing conservative viewpoints.
“Having threatened and cajoled social-media platforms for years to censor viewpoints and speakers disfavored by the Left, senior government officials in the Executive Branch have moved into a phase of open collusion with social media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social-media platforms under the Orwellian guise of halting so-called ‘disinformation.’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘malinformation,’” the filling claims.
“Labeling disfavored speech ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’ does not strip it of First Amendment Protection … with the common understanding that some false statements are inevitable if there is to be an open and vigorous expression of views in public and private conversation … the First Amendment seeks to guarantee.”
The suit specifically accuses the government of suppression in the case of The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story, the theory that COVID-19 stemmed from a Wuhan lab, the effectiveness of wearing masks to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the security of mail-in voting during the pandemic.
“Perhaps most notoriously, social media platforms aggressively censored an October 14, 2020 New York Post expose about the contents of the laptop of Hunter Biden, which had been abandoned in a Delaware repair shop and contained compromising photos and email communications about corrupt foreign business deals,” the filing states.
After The Post report on then-candidate Biden’s son was published, Twitter locked the paper out of its account for more than two weeks over baseless charges that the exposé used hacked information.
Twitter also blocked users from sharing the link to The Post article calling the link “potentially harmful.” Facebook also said it would limit the spread of The Post’s story on its own platform. Just last month — 17-months after The Post’s report was published — The Washington Post and New York Times both quietly confirmed the existence of Hunter Biden’s laptop and emails.
In addition, the two attorneys general said that Facebook censored posts that mentioned the COVID-19 lab-leak theory — which claimed the virus may have originated from a lab in Wuhan, China. The suit alleges Dr. Fauci “was orchestrating a campaign to falsely discredit the lab-leak theory” with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg who only stopped censoring the theory on the platform after media reports suggested it as feasible.
Landry and Schmitt noted that YouTube blocked videos posted by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul that questioned the efficacy of wearing cloth masks during the pandemic — which the CDC later confirmed to be less effective than other face coverings.
The lawsuit further accuses social media platforms of “aggressively censoring speech that raised concerns about the security of voting by mail, a major election-security issue.”
“There is a common theme to all these examples of wrong-headed censorship: Each involved censoring truthful or reliable information that contradicted left-wing political narratives,” the suit states.
The attorneys asked the court to declare that the defendants violated the First Amendment and that the defendants had exceeded their statutory authority. They’ve also asked the court to stop the officials from “continuing to engage in unlawful conduct” to suppress free speech.