A federal judge has found that the Biden Administration likely violated the First Amendment by working with major social media companies to censor speech it didn’t like. Action Alert!
U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty issued a preliminary injunction barring federal officials and agencies, including the Surgeon General, the Secretary of Health, the Justice Department, and the FBI, from having any contact with social media firms for the purpose of discouraging or removing First Amendment-protected speech. This is a result of lawsuits lodged against the Biden Administration from the Attorneys General of Louisiana and Missouri alleging that the Administration pressured social media companies to remove “misinformation” about COVID and other issues. This is a welcome victory in what has been a steady march toward more and more censorship of information that contradicts the official narratives coming from the government or other powers on high.
In a 155-page opinion, Judge Doughty summarized what many of us in the natural health community have been pointing out for some time: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’” He notes a wide range of opinions that were suppressed, including opposition to COVID vaccines, masking, lockdowns, and the lab-leak theory.
The Biden Administration will likely appeal this decision to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
This is an important victory. We learned a great deal more about this widespread censorship campaign when Elon Musk bought Twitter and released a massive number of documents to independent journalists. The “Twitter Files” detailed the close coordination between Twitter and other platforms and the US government in censoring speech. As journalist Matt Taibbi put it,
When we got into the Files, we were caught off guard. The content-policing system was more elaborate and organized than any of us imagined. A communications highway had been built linking the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence with Twitter, Facebook, Google, and a slew of other platforms. Among other things this looked more like a cartel than a competitive media landscape…
As a result, Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, and Russell Brand joined together to expose what they’ve termed the Censorship Industrial Complex,“a network of ideologically-aligned governmental, NGO, and academic institutions that discovered over the last few years the power of censorship to protect their own interests against the volatility and risks of the democratic process.”
Even more embarrassing for the censors is that those questioning COVID vaccine safety, lockdowns, masking, and more—in other words, all the issues where dissenting views were silenced—turned out to be right! In fact, our colleagues at ANH-International put together a detailed chart demonstrating how dissenters ended up being correct on a number of points throughout the pandemic.
“Misinformation” was also the theme of the recent Nobel Prize Summit in Washington, DC, where participants discussed strategies for how to best control scientific discourse and prevent those pesky dissenters from gaining a foothold.
The unfortunate truth is that we all need to be very concerned about the trajectory we’re on because this censorship is leading to real consequences. California recently passed a law that makes it easier for the state medical board to target doctors who disseminate “misinformation” related to COVID; other states have introduced similar legislation. The CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards said that “the largest threat next to the spread of the virus itself is the spread of disinformation and misinformation.” The FSMB recommends that state boards should “consider whether there are options that do not involve disciplinary action that could help a licensee understand the ethical basis of their duty to convey accurate information to patients and the public.” This is eerily reminiscent of authoritarian “re-education” camps for doctors. For scientists and researchers, it is becoming abundantly clear that if they fall afoul of the censors, they are putting their reputations and careers in jeopardy.
At ANH, we will continue to fight for free speech and expose those who wish to undermine it. If you’re looking to take a concrete step, take action below to support our bill to allow the free flow of information on dietary supplements, which are prevented by FDA rules from citing legitimate scientific research about their benefits.
Action Alert! Send a message to Congress supporting our bill to allow the free flow of information about supplements. Please send your message immediately.