In a second major legal win for Facebook this week, a federal judge dismissed another lawsuit that would have held Facebook accountable for censoring content it disagreed with.
California Senior District Judge Susan Illston dismissed the leftist Children’s Health Defense’s (CHD) lawsuit against Facebook. CHD had alleged that Facebook violated the First and Fifth Amendments by “labeling CHD’s content ‘False Information,’ and taking other steps to effectively to censor or block content from users,” according to the ruling.
Illston ruled that Facebook’s application of fact-check labels to CHD’s page did not violate the First Amendment because the government did not direct Facebook to do so. “CHD does not allege that Schiff (or anyone from the government) directed Facebook or Zuckerberg to take any specific action with regard to CHD or its Facebook page,” the ruling explained. “Instead, CHD alleges that Schiff pressured to Facebook remove ‘vaccine misinformation’ and later told reporters that ‘if the social media companies can’t exercise a proper standard of care when it comes to a whole variety of fraudulent or illicit content, then we have to think about whether [Section 230] immunity still makes sense.’”
The organization's lawsuit alleged that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent letters to Facebook and Google regarding “vaccine misinformation.” In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization “collaborated at length with Facebook to suppress vaccine safety speech with a ‘warning label’ and other notices that appear to flag disinformation, but in reality censor valid and truthful speech, including speech critical of those agencies and their policies,” the lawsuit said.
Illston also found that Facebook did not violate the Fifth Amendment, specifically with regard to the takings clause. The takings clause of the Fifth Amendment stated that no one should “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The organization claimed in its lawsuit that “Facebook permanently disabled the ‘donate’ button on CHD’s Facebook page, for and in which action Facebook received significant encouragement from the government.” However, Illston found that “CHD still needs to establish ‘sufficient government action’ to assert a takings claim.”
CHD was established by its leftist president, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The organization falsely claimed on its website that “vaccines can and do cause injuries including autism and many other adverse health outcomes, as well as claiming that 5G technology “poses health risks, encourages debris-generating satellite collisions, causes depletion of the ozone layer by the huge number of launches planned and is a major factor in the weaponization of space.”
Another federal judge dismissed an antitrust complaint from the Federal Trade Commission against Facebook on Monday.
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