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5 Jul, 2023
1 min time to read

A federal judge has issued an injunction blocking several Biden administration officials from contacting social media companies regarding posts protected by the First Amendment.

The ruling comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by attorneys general from Louisiana and Missouri, who allege that the federal government is censoring conservative viewpoints on social media platforms.

Judge Terry A. Doughty's 155-page memorandum ruling states that the plaintiffs have a strong likelihood of proving that government officials are engaging in a "systemic and systematic campaign" to control speech on social media. The lawsuit specifically targets President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the CDC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

The injunction does allow for exceptions in cases involving criminal activity or conspiracies, national security threats, threats to election security, permissible public government speech, public safety threats, and efforts to detect or mitigate cyber threats. Additionally, those named in the lawsuit are barred from collaborating with academic groups focusing on social media.

The White House has responded to the ruling, saying "Our consistent view remains that social media platforms have a critical responsibility to take account of the effects their platforms are having on the American people, but make independent choices about the information they present."