The New York Times has issued a statement complaining that Democrat President Joe Biden can no longer “fight disinformation” online after a federal judge blocked his administration from censoring the American people.
As Slay News reported, federal Judge Terry Doughty, a President Donald Trump appointee, issued a broad preliminary injunction limiting the federal government from policing online content in a 155-page ruling issued on Independence Day.
The judge ruled that The Biden administration violated the First Amendment by censoring critics online.
The judge determined that the Biden admin had tried to subvert the U.S. Constitution by using Big Tech companies as a third party to censor the American people.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth,’” Doughty wrote in his ruling.
Doughty barred White House officials and multiple federal agencies from contacting or meeting with social-media companies.
But according to the NY Times, the landmark ruling will hamper Biden’s efforts to combat so-called “misinformation” online.
Conservative Twitter users accused the outlet of “agitating for more government control of media,” and suggested the outlet was complaining that the Biden administration could not control speech.
The NYT published the tweet on July 4, which provided a caption and link to a corresponding report on the subject.
The tweet stated, “Breaking News: A judge limited Biden administration officials from contacting social media sites, a ruling that could curtail efforts to fight disinformation.”
A judge in Louisiana on Tuesday restricted the Biden administration from communicating with social media platforms about broad swaths of content online, a ruling that could curtail efforts to fight disinformation. https://t.co/0dR8beRCVU pic.twitter.com/OnXFRpzjK8
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 5, 2023
The Times article detailed the ruling, stating, “A federal judge in Louisiana on Tuesday restricted the Biden administration from communicating with social media platforms about broad swaths of content online, a ruling that could curtail efforts to combat false and misleading narratives about the coronavirus pandemic and other issues.”
It added, “Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana said that parts of the government, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, could not talk to social media companies for ‘the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.’”
The article called the decision “a victory for Republicans who have often accused social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube of disproportionately taking down right-leaning content, sometimes in collaboration with the government.”
Though it warned that its “impact could force government officials, including law enforcement agencies, to refrain from notifying the platforms of troublesome content.”
Twitter users blasted the outlet for the post, with several suggesting it was complaining the Biden White House doesn’t have as much control over speech thanks to Judge Doughty’s decision.
Grabien.com founder and conservative commentator Tom Eilliott wrote, “Let historians of the future see this tweet & recall how the NYT was agitating for more government control of media.”
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey altered the Times’ framing of the issue in his tweet.
Where the article claimed it was “a ruling that could curtail efforts to fight disinformation,” Bailey rewrote it as “a ruling that curtails the federal government’s efforts to censor free speech.”
*a ruling that curtails the federal government’s efforts to censor free speech* https://t.co/oaTkuF9K8q
— Attorney General Andrew Bailey (@AGAndrewBailey) July 4, 2023
Author Michael Shellenberger blasted the paper, tweeting, “You guys have lost the plot.”
Journalist Glenn Greenwald accused the paper of advocating for government censorship with the post, tweeting, “Of course, The New York Times depicts this anti-censorship ruling as a dangerous shield for ‘disinformation.’
“The most surreal fact of US political life is that the leading advocates for unified state/corporate censorship are large media corporations.”
Of course The New York Times depicts this anti-censorship ruling as a dangerous shield for "disinformation."
The most surreal fact of US political life is that the leading advocates for unified state/corporate censorship are large media corporations:https://t.co/6YN6l7Xe6y
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 4, 2023
National Review contributor Pradheep Shanker claimed, “Of course the @nytimes can’t admit that the govt sometimes WAS SPREADING MISINFORMATION.”
— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) July 5, 2023
In a recent podcast interview, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg even criticized the problems stemming from government and establishment groups’ involvement in requesting platforms to publish or restrict certain posts, as Slay News reported.
He claimed, “Just take some of the stuff around COVID earlier on in the pandemic, where there were real health implications, but there hadn’t been time to fully vet a bunch of the scientific assumptions, and, unfortunately, I think a lot of the establishment on that kind of waffled on a bunch of facts.”
Zuckerberg noted the “establishment” encouraged him to enforce these shaky facts, saying they “asked for a bunch of things to be censored that, in retrospect, ended up being more debatable or true.”