Combatting The Dystopian Rise Of The 'Censorship Industrial Complex'

Feb 27, 2024

The Censorship Industrial Complex initiated a constitutional crisis by infringing on our freedom of speech in the name of “public health” and for the perceived “greater good” during COVID and leading up to the 2020 election. This unprecedented breach of the Constitution inevitably prompted a lawsuit, and Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Murthy v. Missouri to defend the First Amendment and stand up for the victims of this government-initiated censorship campaign.  

This is the most pivotal free speech case in U.S. history and would be a landmark victory to protect the liberty to engage in public discourse online without fear of being stifled. 

Conservative individuals and organizations, including Liberty Counsel, were censored and suppressed for online speech that opposed COVID orthodoxy and questioned the prevailing narrative pushed by Big Tech, Big Pharma, the mainstream media, and the federal government. The First Amendment explicitly forbids the government from abridging the freedom of speech or freedom of the press, yet social media platforms, under the direction of the federal government, engaged in a coordinated censorship operation to silence dissenting voices. 

Government agencies exploited their influence to try telling Americans how and what to think by controlling the narrative and stifling what was deemed “misinformation,” “disinformation,” or “conspiracy.”

History proves that mass censorship campaigns inevitably lead to human rights violations. Look no further than Adolf Hitler’s censorship of speech and opposition to government in Nazi Germany to see how “book burning” and the silencing of free speech quickly dissolve into grave human rights atrocities. 

Federal Government-Led Censorship Campaign

In Murthy v. Missouri (originally filed as Missouri v. Biden), attorneys general from Missouri and Louisiana, social media users, and an independent media outlet alleged that multiple federal agencies “coerced” social media companies to remove content the government viewed as unfavorable, such as posts that opposed the COVID narrative pushed by the government, research proving mRNA vaccines and lockdowns caused more harm than good, or online speech that questioned the validity of the 2020 election.  

They revealed how the federal government coerced — and even threatened — social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter), to censor opposition and stifle free speech. More than 100 government agencies and nongovernmental organizations coordinated an effort to pressure social media platforms to censor information and amplify propaganda against opposing narratives. 

In the first ruling in Biden v. Missouri on July 4, 2023, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty determined “the alleged suppression has potentially resulted in millions of free speech violations,” and he issued an order limiting communications between the government and social media companies.  

White House "Crusade To Censor Protected Expression"

We filed an amicus brief to combat the dystopian rise of the “Censorship Industrial Complex” that was fueled by the federal government during the COVID crisis and leading up to the 2020 election.

In our brief on Murthy v. Missouri, we argue that the “Biden Administration’s crusade to censor protected expression” is “emblematic of a broader global trend aiming to suppress speech deemed by authorities to be ‘misinformation’ and ‘conspiracy theories.’” 

We note that “[i]nstead of safeguarding Americans’ First Amendment right to freely discuss the government’s response to the pandemic in the marketplace of ideas, the Biden Administration engaged in a concerted effort to shut down debate, stifle doctors who questioned the prevailing orthodoxy about mandatory mRNA vaccines and threaten social media companies that did not censor content the White House disfavored.” 

This atrocious breach of federal powers violated the constitutional right to free speech and further eroded trust in the federal government. The dystopian censorship in response to COVID is something expected in Communist China or George Orwell’s 1984 novel — not in the United States of America.  

The law Is on Our Side

It is undeniable that the government grossly overstepped and violated the Constitution in colluding with Big Tech to silence free speech. The good news is that the law (and an overwhelming amount of information from a robust investigation) is on our side. The First Amendment doesn’t end when disagreement with the government begins.  

Presenting a perspective contrary to the regime’s narrative isn’t criminal. In fact, it is a right that is protected speech under the U.S. Constitution and sets America apart as a bastion of freedom. The answer is not censored speech; the answer is more speech. Policing speech is a direct antithesis to the robust marketplace of ideas our Founders envisioned for the United States. 

It is a sad day in this country when Americans fear that publishing conservative views on a public platform will be suppressed by government-influenced censorship intent on drowning out dissenting views. Silencing “We the People” to push a government narrative is a threat to a free society and must end.

Liberty Counsel is committed to defending First Amendment freedom of speech and will continue engaging in the fight for free speech and against government suppression.

For all the freedom-loving Americans who have been flagged, censored, or shut down over the past few years for disagreeing with the government or questioning “the science,” the U.S. Constitution is on our side, and we are fighting in courtrooms nationwide to preserve your voice.

Originally published in The Christian Post.


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