White House to Appeal Social Media Ruling
State of the Union: That the Biden administration hopes to resume its interference tells you everything you need to know.
An appellate court this week enjoined the Biden administration to cease interfering in the operations of social media companies. The Biden White House has already announced plans to appeal the ruling.
The named plaintiffs in the suit included users who claimed to have had their posts demoted or removed by a social media site responding to Biden administration pressure. The states of Missouri and Louisiana were also among the named plaintiffs in the class-action suit.
The court documented extensive coordination between the Biden White House and social media platforms, with the former pressuring the latter to remove or demote supposed Covid-19 misinformation. Twitter, for example, set up code on their internal servers to prioritize moderation requests from the White House, while Facebook assured Biden officials that "vaccine-skeptical" posts on their platform would be demoted and given warning labels. Posts making "debunked" claims, Facebook told the White House, would be removed entirely.
Former Biden digital strategy official Rob Flaherty even asked Facebook for “some metrics" indicating "the scale of removal for each" type of supposed misinformation, and sent angry letters to the company, accusing it of stoking "vaccine hesitancy."
To get a sense of the type of coercion involved—remember, this is the federal government we're talking about—here are a couple of messages sent by White House personnel to private social media companies:
“Cannot stress the degree to which this needs to be resolved immediately. Please remove this account immediately.”
Get weekly emails in your inbox
“I care mostly about what actions and changes you are making to ensure you’re not making our country’s vaccine hesitancy problem worse.”
That the Biden administration is appealing the ruling in hopes of resuming this type of behavior tells you everything you need to know.