Judge restricts contact between the Biden Government and the companies that manage social networks

The withdrawal of certain information on social networks during the pandemic could become a headache for the Joe Biden administration.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Terry Doughty, a Louisiana judge who at the time was appointed by Donald Trump, temporarily prohibited a large part of the Biden administration from interacting with the companies that manage social networks.

The decision stems from a lawsuit filed last year. by the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri, as well as by some private individuals.

In said lawsuit it is argued that, during the pandemic, health authorities urged social networks to remove disinformation messages related to Covid or against vaccines, which is considered an alleged violation of the First Amendmentbecause it violates freedom of expression.

In this way, some of the main characters who must temporarily refrain from addressing social networks are Karine Jean-Pierre, spokesperson for the White House; Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services; and Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to name a few.

The judge's resolution also determined a similar restriction for some agencies and departments such as the Department of Justice, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Centers for Prevention and Disease Control, among others.

The provision also prevents the generation of any type of communication with the companies that own the social networks through which it is intended to send emails, physical documents, text messages or engage in any type of communication "with the aim of urge, encourage, pressure or induce in any way the withdrawal, elimination, deletion or reduction of content”.

About, Eric Schmitt, a Republican senator who was Missouri's attorney general when the lawsuit was filed, praised Judge Doughty's ruling. through a message posted on Twitter.

“A great victory for the First Amendment and a blow to censorship,” he said.

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