Several lawsuits have been filed against Big Tech in recent days, including one by President Trump, alleging they have acted as the censorship arm of the Democrats in Washington and therefore fall under the regulations of the First Amendment, which applies to government but not private companies.
Here is the latest apparent proof:
A report in The Federalist explains how the Biden administration now is pressuring tech companies “to punish any COVID dissidents guilty of spreading what they label as ‘misinformation.’”
The report cites Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and his new agenda in a report called “Confronting Health Misinformation.”
In it, he demands that technology companies “crack down” on “misinformation ‘super-spreaders.’”
“Limiting the spread of health misinformation is a moral and civic imperative that will require a whole-of-society effort,” he claimed.
In new report on COVID misinformation, the @Surgeon_General recommends big tech “impose clear consequences for accounts that repeatedly violate platform policies.” t.co/V6h0GP4BcR pic.twitter.com/KItofTn0LO
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) July 15, 2021
Citing Facebook, Twitter, and “other corrupt social media companies” he encouraged them to impose punishment on those who violate “quickly concocted and ever-shifting content policies.”
He called on the companies who redesign their algorithms to make it harder to share information with which the government disagrees.
Murthy, the report said, thinks oversight and regulation should be a priority.
“Platforms should increase staffing of multilingual content moderation teams and improve the effectiveness of machine learning algorithms in languages other than English since non-English-language misinformation continues to proliferate. Platforms should also address misinformation in live streams, which are more difficult to moderate due to their temporary nature and use of audio and video,” he insists.
The Federalist reported, “For at least a year, big tech overlords such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have all used their power to crack down on Americans in the name of curbing ‘misinformation’ about everything from COVID-19 to election fraud, issuing fake news fact checks about content they don’t like. Some platforms may have been forced to slightly ease up on content restrictions after they had to awkwardly backtrack their overeager campaign against the Wuhan lab leak theory, but they’ve doubled down on censoring and subverting claims about the COVID-19 vaccine and side effects it has caused.”
President Trump, in a commentary published recently, said he took the tech companies to court because Congress “illegally deputized” them “as the censorship arm of the U.S. government.”
He stated, “The Supreme Court has held that Congress can’t use private actors to achieve what the Constitution prohibits it from doing itself. This should alarm you no matter your political persuasion. It is unacceptable, unlawful and un-American.”
Trump warned, “We’re going to hold Big Tech very accountable. We are asking the court to impose punitive damages on these social-media giants.”
Social-media companies in the past few years have moved aggressively against conservative voices, commentators, news organizations and more.
They have used their position as near-monopolies to control and eliminate voices with which they disagree, and they claim the right to do so as private companies, exempt from the First Amendment.
Trump explained the companies are “manipulating and controlling the political debate itself. Consider content that was censored in the past year. Big Tech companies banned users from their platforms for publishing evidence that showed the coronavirus emerged from a Chinese lab, which even the corporate media now admits may be true. In the middle of a pandemic, Big Tech censored physicians from discussing potential treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, which studies have now shown does work to relieve symptoms of Covid-19. In the weeks before a presidential election, the platforms banned the New York Post—America’s oldest newspaper—for publishing a story critical of Joe Biden’s family, a story the Biden campaign did not even dispute.”
Tech companies argue that they are platforms, not publishers, and should not be held liable for what appears on their site. But they, in recent months, repeatedly have acted as publishers, censoring content they dislike and promoting content they liked, creating a valid question as to whether the law, which was written to protect platforms but not publishers, applies to them.
If the court accepts the premise that the tech companies are working in concert with Democrats, that would mean they are acting on behalf of the government, which would subject them to the requirements of the First Amendment.
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