“Judge Doughty’a brief explaining his reasoning for denying the government’s baseless motion to stay appears to also directly respond to the media’s attacks on his order preventing the government from censoring speech.
For example, a common trope from dishonest left wing media pundits and even law professor analysts, is that there was no evidence that the government censored speech.
Judge Doughty’s order denying the government’s request to halt the injunction goes through several examples of airtight evidence showing the feds’ deliberate efforts to work with Big Tech to censor speech.
“(a) On January 23, 2021, White House Digital Director for COVID-19 Response Team Clarke Humphrey emailed Twitter and requested the removal of an anti-COVID-19 vaccine tweet by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.11
(b) On April 14, 2021, White House Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty (“Flaherty”) demanded censorship by Facebook of a video of Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Tomi Lahren where Tucker Carlson was saying COVID-19 vaccines don’t work and Tomi Lahren was saying she won’t take a COVID-19 vaccine.12 Flaherty demanded immediate answers from Facebook on April 16, 2021, in relation to the video, and on April 21, 2021, despite not violating Facebook’s policies, Facebook gave the video a 50% reduction for seven days and stated it would continue to demote the video.13
2. Surgeon General Defendants
(a) Senior Advisor to the Surgeon General Eric Waldo (“Waldo”) testified that Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy (“Murthy”) used his office to advocate for social-media platforms to take stronger actions against “health misinformation,” which involved putting pressure on social-media platforms to reduce the dissemination of health misinformation. That message was given to social-media platforms both publicly and privately.14
(b) In addition to public statements, Murthy had meetings with social-media companies, called health misinformation “poison,” and called for social-media companies to do more to control the reach of health disinformation. When Murthy was calling posts “health disinformation,” he was referring to anti-vaccine posts.15
3. CDC Defendants16
(a) The CDC Defendants consistently had regular contact with social-media platforms via email, phone, and in-person meetings. The CDC Defendants received CrowdTangle reports from Facebook as to the “top engaged COVID and vaccine related content.17
(b) The CDC Defendants provided PowerPoint slide decks to Facebook, which provided examples of misinformation topics and made recommendations to Facebook as to whether claims were true or false. Some of the items designated as false by the CDC Defendants included medically debatable topics such as whether COVID-19 had a 99.96% survival rate, whether COVID-19 vaccines weaken the immune system, and the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.18
4. NIAID Defendants19
(a) Dr. Francis Collins sent an email to Dr. Anthony Fauci on October 8, 2020, which stated that the Great Barrington Declaration20 needed to have a “quick and devastating take- down.”21
(b) Dr. Fauci sent back information to “debunk” The Great Barrington Declaration and both Dr. Collins and Dr. Fauci followed up with a series of public media statements attacking the Great Barrington Declaration. Thereafter the Great Barrington Declaration was censored by social- media platforms.22
5. FBI Defendants23
(a) The FBI Defendants, along with numerous social-media platforms, CISA, and the Department of Homeland Security, met consistently at Industry Meetings. The Industry Meetings were used by the FBI Defendants and others to discuss election disinformation.24
(b) Prior to the 2020 Presidential election, the FBI repeatedly warned social-media companies to be alert for “hack and dump” or “hack and leak” operations. The Hunter Biden laptop story was published by the Washington Post on October 14, 2020. After being asked by Facebook whether the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation, the FBI’s Laura Dehmlow refused to comment, leading Facebook to suppress the story. The FBI had had the laptop since December of 2019, and knew that the story was not Russian disinformation.25
6. CISA Defendants26
(a) The CISA Defendants regularly met with social-media platforms at several types of meetings. At those meetings, disinformation was discussed as well as reports about social-media companies’ changes to censorship policies.27 CISA had five sets of recurring meetings with social- media platforms that involved discussions of misinformation, disinformation, and/or censorship of protected free speech on social media.28
(b) The CISA Defendants collaborated with the Election Integrity Partnership, working with them in a “switchboarding” operation which reported alleged election misinformation to social-media companies. The alleged election misinformation included claims that “mail-in voting is insecure” and “theories about election fraud are hard to discount.”29
(c) CISA Director Jen Easterly views the word “infrastructure” expressively to include our “cognitive infrastructure,” which deals with the way people acquire knowledge and understanding.30
7. State Department Defendants31
(a) The State Department Defendants worked closely and collaborated with the Election Integrity Partnership and the Virality Project, who forwarded alleged election misinformation and COVID-19 misinformation to social-media companies.32 The alleged misinformation related to content by American citizens. The alleged disinformation primarily involved social media posts which delegitimized election results,33 and posts which involved anti- vaccine content by such personalities as Alex Berenson, Candace Owens, Tucker Carlson, and John F. Kennedy, Jr.34
(b) The Election Integrity Partnership was designed “to get around unclear legal authorities, including very real First Amendment questions” that would arise if government agencies were to monitor and flag information for censorship on social media.35”
Source material can be found at this site.