Biden admin to appeal order limiting contact with social media firms

July 6, 2023 in News by RBN Staff


Source: Axios

President Joe Biden speaks during a National Education Association event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, July 4.

The Biden administration is appealing a court ruling that would limit government officials and agencies from communicating with social media companies on content moderation, according to court filings Wednesday.

Driving the news: U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday in relation to an ongoing lawsuit from Republican attorneys general filed by Louisiana and Missouri that alleges the administration violated the First Amendment by encouraging social media companies to crack down on COVID disinformation.

  • Although the Trump-appointed judge has yet to make a final ruling in the case, he said the evidence indicated government officials had applied “Orwellian” pressure on companies like Meta, YouTube and Twitter in an “almost dystopian” way that represented a “targeted suppression of conservative ideas.”
  • The Justice Department filed a notice of appeal in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans Wednesday evening.

Zoom in: The order blocks certain officials from calling, emailing, sending letters or text or meeting with social media firms “for the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech posted” online.

  • Among those affected by this ruling are Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, along with Department of Justice and FBI employees.
  • The Biden administration did not immediately respond to Axios’ request to comment.