A judge has denied an effort by several top Biden administration officials to avoid appearing for testimony in a lawsuit alleging the administration worked with social media companies to censor differing points of view.
Partial stays requests from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly and White House Digital Strategy Director Rob Flaherty were denied Wednesday by Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
Collusion between the United States government and large social media platforms has occurred for quite some time now, receiving especially large attention after Twitter and numerous other big tech giants permanently banned former President Trump from their platforms in January of 2021.
White House officials have at times openly admitted to their practices of censorship, with perhaps the most notable example coming from former Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
This teamwork appears to involve former White House residents as well. Former First Lady Michelle Obama famously called on Silicon Valley to ban former President Trump from their social media platforms for life back in January of 2021.
“Now is the time for companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior — and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection,” Obama posted at the time.
Like all of you, I’ve been feeling so many emotions since yesterday. I tried to put my thoughts down here: pic.twitter.com/9xzRvrpk7y
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 7, 2021
A trove of documents uncovered by The Intercept earlier this week has introduced more evidence to what is already a transparently obvious epidemic of online censorship. Meta (which owns Facebook and Instagram), for instance, set up “a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on … and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use.”
The case was filed in October by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Attorney General Eric Schmitt. Listed defendants include the infamous White House Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and former Disinformation Governance Board Director Nina Jankowicz.
“The Court finds that both the public interest and the interest of the other parties in preserving free speech significantly outweigh the inconvenience the three deponents will have in preparing for and giving their depositions,” Doughty, who was appointed to his position by former President Trump, stated in his ruling this week.