Judge Rules ‘Threat of Future’ Big Tech-Gov’t Censorship ‘Substantial’

March 28th, 2023 3:30 PM

A federal court judge warned that the threat of future Big Tech censorship coordinated between platforms and the Biden administration is not hypothetical.

In a 77-page ruling in the case of State of Missouri v. Biden,  U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty wrote that social media censorship related to COVID-19, elections, and Hunter Biden's laptop, will continue unless stopped. Doughty wrote, "The threat of future censorship is substantial, and the history of past censorship is strong evidence that the threat of further censorship is not illusory or merely speculative." Judge Doughty continued, referring to the non-state plaintiffs who were censored for their views on the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines: "Their allegations are more than complaints of past wrongs."

The ruling was the latest pleading in Louisiana and Missouri’s legal action suing federal government officials for allegedly conspiring with Big Tech companies to censor free speech in the name of fighting so-called “misinformation.”

“Judge Doughty rightly condemned the left’s and government’s onslaught on free speech in his ruling,” said MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “The MRC has been on top of documenting Big Tech’s anti-free speech behavior for years now, and this case is just the tip of the iceberg.” 

Unlike previous plaintiffs who have had their complaints of censorship dismissed, the states and doctors suing the administration have painted a “full picture," and the judge found that statements from federal officials were "tied temporally" and "directly coincide[d] with the deboosting, shadow-banning, and account suspensions" complained of in the suit.

Indeed, the judge opined that the plaintiffs properly alleged a "full scheme of coordination" that constituted a direct injury.

The plaintiffs received voluminous discovery from government officials in the pre-litigation process. The discovery included depositions by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the time.

The attorneys representing the physician-plaintiffs said the ruling disproves any claim that the censorship was unintentional.

"The ruse that it was just a coincidence that all the tech companies silenced the same people saying the same things at the same time has been exposed for the canard it is," New Civil Liberties Alliance senior litigation counsel John Vecchione said in a press release.

The Missouri-Louisiana lawsuit cites an MRC Free Speech America study that revealed 646 instances of social media platforms censoring public criticism of Biden between March 10, 2020, and March 10, 2022.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency clarity on so-called hate speech and an equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.