Thou shalt not (censor)

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by Alex Berenson, Unreported Truths:

More on the genius of Judge Terry Doughty’s decision yesterday in the Missouri v Biden social media censorship case

Imagine if we learned Biden Administration officials had secretly jawboned the New York Times on trans issues. Or told baseball teams they should fly pride flags – or face antitrust hearings. Or complained to the History Channel over a documentary depicting the discovery of crude oil positively.

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The First Amendment concerns would be obvious. We’d all wonder why government officials thought they could tell private companies what opinions and news to carry.

The American government is hugely powerful. Not even the biggest company can ignore a call from the White House. If the executive branch has something to say, it should do so with press conferences and open advertising – not secretly threaten the media to carry its water.

Yet when it comes to social media companies, the left has forgotten this simple fact. Instead it claims a new age of information warfare demands that the Constitution be set aside – as if propaganda campaigns haven’t always been a feature of mass media. It has forgotten the importance of an open marketplace for ideas and debate.

Now, in a lawsuit brought by two states against the federal government over social media censorship, a judge has reminded the left – and all of us – of what the First Amendment means and why it matters.

And he’s done so in the simplest, most profound possible way.

Yesterday, Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction that – in essence – tells the White House and much of the executive branch to stop bothering social media companies over opinions and reporting and other content they carry.

Judge Doughty’s ruling doesn’t violate the federal government’s own First Amendemnt rights to speak.

It doesn’t say the White House can’t use Facebook or Twitter. it doesn’t say the White House can’t express its own views on vaccines or Russia or other issues as forcefully as it likes. It doesn’t say that law enforcement agencies can’t go after child pornography or terrorist threats on social media.

What it says is government must end its aggressive and growing censorship and quasi-censorship complex – and whose reach and power Judge Doughty details in the 155-page memorandum supporting the injunction.

What is says is that if speech is legal and protected by the First Amendment, social media platforms have the right to carry it, and the federal government must stop telling them not to do so. (Whether social media platforms – especially the biggest ones – must carry that speech is a separate and much more complicated question, but that is NOT the issue here.)

Read More @ alexberenson.substack.com