Decision against President Biden Frees Up Dangerous Disinformation on Social Media*

A preliminary injunction sought by Republicans shows the appetite of the fascist wolf in a libertarian sheep’s clothing.

A U.S. federal judge issued an exceptionally broad injunction that prohibits Joe Biden’s administration from communicating with social networking companies to dispute content in the United States.

The ruling came in response to a lawsuit brought by attorneys general from the Republican states of Louisiana and Missouri that accuses the government of censorship and violating the First Amendment, which guarantees free speech, by asking businesses such as Twitter, YouTube and Meta to monitor or remove posts.

Judge Terry Doughty of Louisiana, who wrote the decision and was nominated by former President Donald Trump, paid tribute to the elite past tradition of his state, known for some of the worst health statistics in the country. The freedom of expression that the judge advocated includes disseminating lies about vaccines and other viral campaigns of disinformation.

During the most intense period of the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisiana health authorities found themselves powerless against the spreading of fake news about vaccines on social media, which helped fill up emergency rooms and caused incalculable premature deaths in the state that ranks 43rd in the U.S. life expectancy index.

At this point, the ruling is preliminary, and it is possible that the government will appeal. That said, the preliminary injunction is extraordinary for its detailed restrictions on communications from governmental agencies and its validation of conspiracy theories, with potential repercussions on public health, the integrity of the 2024 election and on innumerable other aspects of American life that have migrated to social media platforms, such as natural disaster alerts.

It is no longer possible to take seriously the hysterical rattle that conservatives have shaken in defense of free speech over recent decades. Judge Doughty’s injunction, in the midst of the Independence Day holiday, exposes the hypocrisy of American “exceptionalism.”

The conservative agenda has been reduced to keep a minority in control of the majority. Thus, rational argument is the first casualty of the militancy, now a tail wagging the increasingly large Saint Bernard dog, that is the American population.

The party that removes books from libraries, prohibits the subject of race relations history in school curricula and claims the right to decide what adult women do with their own bodies wants to convince us that monitoring false rumors in elections, silencing federal health agencies [from speaking out] about the dangers of a pandemic and trying to prevent deaths from ignorance fueled by private enterprise, are forms of individual liberty.

Given the orgy of disinformation and extremist propaganda that Elon Musk promotes over Twitter and the verified role of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook in derailing the 2016 election, the idea that federal agencies cannot even send an email to the billionaire titans of the apocalypse, asking for moderation and protection of life, illustrates the appetite of the fascist wolf in a libertarian sheep’s clothing.

*Editor’s note: The original version of this article in Portuguese is available through a paid subscription.

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About Jane Dorwart 201 Articles
BA Anthroplogy. BS Musical Composition, Diploma in Computor Programming. and Portuguese Translator.

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