Newly obtained government records show the CDC met and corresponded regularly with social media companies to facilitate the removal of information about COVID the agency did not like and to push government narratives on the subject.
CDC ‘s Involvement
This is important because free speech requirements generally do not apply to private tech companies, but do apply if the platforms become state actors doing the government’s bidding. The records show the CDC asked for the removal of specific tweets and posts as part of efforts to promote COVID vaccines and boosters, discredit natural immunity against COVID, disparage the vaccine injury reporting system (VAERS), and talk up masking.
The government’s phony narratives on all these subjects have come under increasing criticism. The parties also coordinated congressional testimony. Attempts to pin liability on the social media platforms for government censorship under the state actor theory, including Trump’s case against Twitter, generally have not fared well in court so far, but the newly obtained records might change all that.
One pending lawsuit was brought by the state Attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana. They sued the Biden administration for colluding with Big Tech to censor free speech on the origins of the coronavirus, the results of the 2020 election, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and the insecurity of mail-in voting. A federal judge recently granted permission to proceed with discovery. Subpoenas have been issued to Tony Fauci, the White House Press Secretary, other Biden officials, and five social media companies.
Efforts and calls to deputize social media companies have been widespread throughout the Biden administration.
Whistleblower documents show DHS has been laying plans to secure tech company cooperation to push the government line on COVID, election fraud, domestic terrorism, and supposed disinformation and rumors. Calls to enlist the aid of social media have come from the Surgeon General, the White House press secretary, a White House climate advisor, and even Joe Biden himself. Writer Alex Berenson was suspended from Twitter after questioning the efficacy of COVID vaccines. He brought suit alleging the government had pressured Twitter into suspending him. The case was settled and his account was reinstated.
Government collusion with Big Tech to suppress speech and push phony government narratives raises a whole host of problems I’ve mentioned in previous commentaries. First, we do not want the government deciding what is true and suppressing information it deems to be false. That’s the quickest way to stop all progress in life if the government becomes the sole arbiter of truth. Second, what the government proclaims is true one day can easily be debunked the next.
Hunter Biden’s laptop is a perfect example.
At first, it was supposedly ‘Russian disinformation’, but it is now admitted the laptop is genuine. There’s no longer any serious dispute about that. What an embarrassment for those former intelligence officials and media types who all ran around saying ‘Russian disinformation, Russian disinformation’ – none of whom have apologized for being so spectacularly wrong or for so mindlessly serving their government masters.
Second, we don’t want to live in fear. We don’t want to live in a country where we have to whisper the truth to each other on street corners for fear we will be hauled away in the middle of the night and persecuted if we challenge phony government narratives.
Finally, the rise of the authoritarian Left is the central challenge of our time. You put the power of left-wing government together with the awesome reach of left-wing tech companies and you get the kind of concentration of power our Founders warned us about. Let’s hope the courts start pinning liability on the fascistic tech giants who have colluded with government to control our minds and our lives.