Alleged White House Coercion of Social Media Platforms: Supreme Court Dismisses Case

Supreme Court dismisses complaint against alleged White House coercion of social media platforms.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed allegations by two Republican states that the administration of Democrat Joe Biden had coerced social media platforms to remove controversial content from their networks.

The White House against social media platforms.

The court, with a conservative majority, thus refused to limit the government’s contacts with social platforms to fight disinformation in a case dating back to the coronavirus pandemic.

By six votes to three, the justices ruled that the plaintiffs (the Republican attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri, along with five social media users) did not have standing to bring the suit.

They had alleged that the government overreached by, in their view, pressuring social networking companies to moderate their content.

Alleged White House Coercion of Social Media Platforms

The complaint involved alleged coercion by the White House against social media platforms.

The lawsuit included several claims related to activities that occurred in 2020 and earlier, including efforts to prevent the dissemination of false information about COVID-19 and the presidential election.

Donald Trump was president at the time, but the first district court ruling on the case focused on actions taken by the government after the president, Joe Biden, took office in January 2021.

Louisiana-based U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty in July last year barred the government from “any communication with social networking companies that urges, encourages, pressures or otherwise induces the removal, deletion, removal or curtailment of content containing protected free speech.”

The Louisiana-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently limited the scope of Doughty’s injunction, but continued to require the White House, FBI and health authorities not to “coerce or meaningfully encourage” networks to take down content the government deemed hoaxes.

The Supreme Court held that order in abeyance pending a ruling, and on Wednesday dismissed the government’s indictment.



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