A digital strategist who challenged the official COVID narrative has alleged that improper coordination occurred between the federal government and social media platforms.
Justin Hart, a litigant suing Facebook, Twitter, and several federal government agencies and officials, including President Biden, in federal court over alleged suppression of free speech, claimed on Fox News that “we now believe that we have evidence of the government working very closely with social media companies to censor Americans.”
(Video: Fox News)
The U.S. Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, applies to the government’s relationship with the individual. It is unrelated to the private sector.
If the federal government is subtracting, for example, content moderation to the Big Tech town square-equivalent, First Amendment free-speech protections for users would arguably apply.
In the video clip embedded above for which you can draw your conclusions, Hart told host Shannon Bream that the “Facebook and Twitter platforms…they are private companies — they’re gonna do what they want. One would hope that they might adhere to the basic tenets of western democracies that gave birth to them, but our case is being made that the protections in the First Amendment are against the government trying to censor me by using these companies as proxies…”
In the run-up to the Wednesday evening interview with Bream on “Fox News @ Night,” Hart wrote on Twitter that “Going on Fox News to talk about the govt quashing opinions of Americans who don’t stick to the Covid narrative. Short version: FOIA emails show the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] colluding tightly with social media platforms to pull down posts and accounts they didn’t like. That’s a no-no.”
Going on FoxNews to talk about the govt quashing opinions of Americans who don’t stick to the Covid narrative. Short version: FOIA emails show the CDC colluding tightly with social media platforms to pull down posts and accounts they didn’t like. That’s a no-no.
— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) August 4, 2022
In the video clip embedded above, Hart explained that Freedom of Information requests have finally yielded “a flood of these emails…and they show a deep tie of networks, weekly coordination of executives, multiple meetings where they are pointing out posts and accounts that they don’t agree with and having those social media companies take those posts and those accounts down…I think these [documents] tell a very egregious story against First Amendment rights of American citizens.”
Hart recalled that his social media accounts were frozen or suspended around the time when ex-White House press secretary Jen Psaki “made a public statement over the White House pulpit where she admitted that they were working with tech companies to make these very actions.” This revelation apparently prompted his lawsuit.
He noted that his attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center enabled the partial reinstatement of those accounts.
During the pandemic, and even afterward, Big Tech essentially demanded allegiance to lockdowns, masking, and the mRNA vaccine.
When private companies contract, collude, or cooperate with the US government to censor speech, it’s a violation of the 1st Amendment.
The Bill of Rights constrains government, not private companies, but govt can’t engage in unconstitutional behavior by hiring private companies.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) July 30, 2022
Playing the devil’s advocate, Bream, who is a lawyer, suggested that Big Tech platforms will claim they were operating in the public’s best interests based on the information available at the time.
Liberty Justice Center attorney Daniel Suhr responded that “the right response to censorship is not to rationalize it. It’s to stand up to it. That’s what Justin is doing. He’s standing up to censorship. One of the things we’ve seen over the course of this pandemic is the science changes; the explanations evolve. And that’s why it’s so important that we have transparent information and transparent government data, and that Americans can engage on social media and in the public square to discuss the policy decisions that are being made that are limiting so many of our freedoms and liberties.”
‘Very worrying’: Facebook reportedly using ex-CIA to moderate misinformation policy https://t.co/ZZWzFQOaw0
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 25, 2022
He continued: “We need to trust the American people, and the best way to do that is more information, and more speech, not government censorship, and government mandating a monopoly with only its message that it thinks it’s right at this moment.”
On Thursday, Hart wrote on his Substack page that “We were disappointed that the case was not allowed to move forward because the government agencies have been dragging their feet on FOIA requests. Well now that the floodgates of documents are coming out we more life to our lawsuit we believe.”
On Wednesday, America First Legal, an organization founded by Stephen Miller, a key advisor in the Trump White House, “requested that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General investigate the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) collusion with social media companies, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, to push illegal covert COVID-19 propaganda.”
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