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Louisiana AG rages at White House for First Amendment breach over social media pressure op

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The Louisiana Attorney General claimed a series of new documents had exposed attempts by the White House to suppress negative coverage of the Biden Administration or of Biden-associated policies. Landry claimed the White House had attempted to leverage its powers to “coerce social media companies to suppress the speech of thousands”. Court documents released early this month alleged the President’s Digital Office had actively asked social media platforms to censor personalities and reporting questioning Biden’s policies.

Landry wrote: “The First Amendment is the bedrock of American liberty. Our citizens have the right, if not civic duty, to engage in open, dynamic discourse, and no government has the right to limit, suppress, censor or otherwise control it.

“Yet as we dig deeper into discovery in our Big Tech censorship case — Missouri and Louisiana v. Biden — we uncover ever more truly appalling abuses of power that President Biden’s director of digital strategy, Rob Flaherty, admitted come from ‘the highest (and I mean highest) levels of the’ White House.”

Flaherty was found to have repeatedly written to Facebook, Twitter and Google to express the White House’s concern about stories on the coronavirus vaccine shared on these platforms appeared to be affecting the rate of vaccination.

Writing to Google about YouTube’s impact on the Biden administration’s effort to promote inoculation, Flaherty admitted concerns that the platform “is ‘funnelling’ people into hesitance and intensifying people’s hesitancy”.

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He added: “Needless to say, in a couple of weeks when we’re having trouble getting people to get vaccinated, we’ll be in the barrel together here.

“We certainly recognise that removing content that is unfavourable to the cause of increasing vaccine adoption is not a realistic — or even good — solution.”

Writing in the New York Post, Landry accused the White House of attempting “to control all flow of information and keep the populace ignorant” of alternative sources of information.

The Louisiana AG added: “Tucker Carlson, who hosts one of the highest-rated prime-time cable news programs, has been censored. Robert Kennedy Jr., a US attorney general’s son and a president’s nephew has been censored. No one is too powerful, too connected or even too humble to be silenced.

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Bailey said: “I want to protect Missourians and the freedoms they enjoy, which is why as Attorney General, I will always defend the Constitution.

“This case is about the Biden Administration’s blatant disregard for the First Amendment and its collusion with Big Tech social media companies to suppress speech it disagrees with.

“I will always fight back against unelected bureaucrats who seek to indoctrinate the people of this state by violating our constitutional right to free and open debate.”

Twitter denied accusations of abiding by White House requests to suppress or remove content following the publication of excerpts from conversations between former Twitter chiefs and Biden representatives after Elon Musk took over the company last year.

The company’s lawyers responded to a complaint from the RNC saying: “Twitter’s content moderation decision was not coordinated with the Biden campaign.

“Because there was no coordination, nor even an expenditure, there was no in-kind contribution.”

And Mark Zuckerberg said the decision to minimise the recirculation of a story about the content of a laptop believed to belong to Biden’s son Hunter Biden on Facebook before the 2020 elections was the result of FBI warnings.

Speaking to Joe Rogan’s podcast, Zuckerberg said: “The background here is that the FBI came to us – some folks on our team – and was like ‘hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert.

“We thought there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election, we have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump that’s similar to that’.”

He said the Bureau did not warn the company about Hunter Biden’s story in particular but insisted Facebook thought “it fit that pattern.”



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