Connecticut Attorney General William Tong is upset that he cannot work with Big Tech to censor protected free speech in social media posts, thanks to a preliminary injunction granted in part by Trump-appointed federal Judge Terry A. Doughty on July 4, 2023.
The injunction prohibits the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and others from meeting with, encouraging or threatening social media companies to order to urge, encourage, pressure or induce the removal, deletion, suppression or reduction of content containing free speech protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The Biden Administration immediately filed an appeal against the preliminary injunction on July 5, 2023, and a motion to stay on July 6, 2023.
Judge Doughty denied Biden's appeal on July 10, 2023, in a 13-page statement which indicated the Plaintiffs showed a likelihood of success on the merits, and further, that the Defendants failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits.
"The Defendants are asking the Court to grant them relief to a Preliminary Injunction that only bars illegal conduct. In other words, the only effect of staying the Preliminary Injunction would be to free Defendants to urge, encourage, pressure, or induce the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech on social-media platforms."Judge Terry A. Doughty
Allowing protected free speech on social media is not sitting well with AG Tong who, along with a multistate coalition, filed an amicus brief on July 28, 2023, urging the court to reverse this decision.
Joining in the brief are the states of New York, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin, along with the District of Columbia.
The amicus brief argues that it's important to be able to censor free speech on social media posts for a variety of reasons, including to address the "proliferation of harmful content" like election misinformation, to protect minors from cyberbullying and "inappropriate content" (which apparently does not extend to pornographic library books for minors), to protect against scams and predatory content, and to protect election integrity.
“Pseudoscience conspiracy theories, election disinformation, and other dangerous viral social media content carry real life consequences. It is not only appropriate, it is imperative that social media companies and government officials communicate to address the spread of false and misleading information. The district order unreasonably blocks these important channels of communication and must be overturned,” said Attorney General Tong.
Of course, the preliminary injunction does not prohibit contacting social media companies about legitimate election threats (e.g., criminal efforts to suppress voting, provide illegal campaign contributions, attacks on election infrastructure or foreign attempts to influence elections) or threats to voters (e.g., mislead on voting requirements and procedures). Nor does it prohibit the government from alerting social media companies about criminal activity, national security threats, public safety threats, or to promote government policies or views on matters of public concern.
And pseudoscience does carry real life consequences.
In fact, the false narrative that covid vaccines were "safe and effective" has lead to more than 1.5 million reports of adverse effects in the vaccinated, including as many as 35,646 deaths, and leaving at least 67,121 people permanently disabled, according to the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
So it seems that Tong is devastated because he can no longer threaten Big Tech into silencing those who challenge his "official narrative" with factual information (see below letter to Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg).
We absolutely can't let people like Tong destroy free speech in America.