By James Murphy
A lawsuit filed on Monday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida is alleging that tech-giant Facebook is colluding with the White House to censor opinions that they find problematic, especially when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A large part of the suit rests upon White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s admission that the White House is in “regular touch with … social media platforms,” and that government actors are “flagging” so-called misinformation for Facebook.
On July 15, Psaki answered a question from a reporter on how the White House was “policing misinformation”: “We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s office. We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”
“When she said that they were working with Big Tech then it changes everything because then it’s the government censoring, so that obviously can’t stand,” plaintiff Richard Rogalinski told The Epoch Times.
The class action suit is being brought by Rogalinski. The class is described as “All Facebook Members, Users or Participants who reside within the United States, and between January 20th, 2021 and today, had their public statements, comments or posts on the Facebook platform censored, modified, hidden, appended or curtailed by the Defendant.”
Rogalinski counts himself among that class, as he has had Facebook posts appended with so-called fact checks or removed from public view on the platform for spreading “false information.”
In June, Rogalinski posted a picture of Dr. David Samadi suggesting that “hydroxychloroquine worked this whole time.” Facebook deemed the post “false information,” hid it from public view, and offered a “fact check” that included a year-old USA Today story that claimed the drug was ineffective against COVID-19 and potentially dangerous.
Hydroxychloroquine has been around for decades and is a highly successful anti-malarial drug. It was used by many doctors during the pandemic both as a treatment for COVID-19 as well as a prophylactic. It was famously used by former President Donald Trump when he was diagnosed with the Chinese virus in October and is widely credited for Trump’s quick recovery from the virus.
But as far as Facebook is concerned, a year-old USA Today article is the truth — and any evidence to the contrary is “misinformation.”
“They’re fact checking me with articles that are a year before that aren’t even relevant,” Rogalinski said.
According to the complaint, because Facebook is receiving input from the government as to what is “misinformation” or not, it is essentially a state actor with regard to what it allows on the platform.
“According to the Administration of President Joe Biden, the United States Government specifically indicated what users, content and information … should be flagged, censored and removed regarding the COVID-19 virus,” the complaint states.
“Therefore, Facebook’s actions were that of a governmental actor, and thereby are subject to the restrictions set forth in the First Amendment.”
Perhaps to give Facebook some cover regarding the censorship claims, last week President Biden said that the tech giant wasn’t doing enough to slow the spread of “misinformation.” The president actually accused Facebook of “killing people.”
“I mean they really, look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and that’s — they’re killing people,” Biden of Facebook, last Friday.
The president later walked back the comment this week, saying, “Facebook isn’t killing people.” But Biden then said that he hoped Facebook and other tech companies would do more to combat what he called “the outrageous misinformation” about the COVID-19 vaccines being spread on their platforms.
So, in Biden’s world, Facebook just isn’t censoring enough to suit his needs.
But there is evidence that Facebook is indeed engaging in censorship of voices that it and its cohorts in the White House don’t like. And Psaki’s admission that the government is “flagging” posts for Facebook to review essentially proves that.
The complaint concludes: “At the direction of the President of the United States, his highest levels of staff members, and other Federal Government agencies and officials, the Defendant has engaged in a course of conduct to censor, limit and otherwise chill the Plaintiffs rights to free speech as they pertain to COVID-19.”
Biden’s assertion that Facebook is “killing people” is at the heart of this government’s obvious efforts to use fear and propaganda to stop people from talking about uncomfortable topics such as the COVID-19 vaccines. “It’s all about safety,” they cry. “Don’t you want your fellow citizens to be safe?”
Today it’s COVID-19. What will be the next threat to our existence that is so grave that it must not be spoken of publicly?