US data analyst Justin Hart is one of the recent victims of COVID-related censorship on social networks, but he’s also one of those joining to fight back in the legal arena.
The Liberty Justice Center, a non-profit focused on constitutional rights, is suing on his behalf, with Facebook, Twitter, US President Joe Biden and the Surgeon General Vivek Murthy all named as defendants.
We obtained a copy of the complaint for you here.
Hart is alleging that his First Amendment free speech rights had been violated when his social media accounts got suspended for posting what is said to be a scientifically-based graphic under the title, “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”
News outlets like the New York Post – who recall that their own factually correct, and occasionally bombshell stories (like the “Hunter Biden files“) got suppressed by Big Tech – suggest this claim should by now not be particularly contentious, let alone a reason for censorship.
“Study after study repeatedly shows that children are safer than vaccinated adults and that the masks people actually wear don’t do much good,” writes the Post.
But when Hart posted the infographic, Facebook reacted by locking his personal account, created in 2007, for three days. The filing indicates that the same happened to this data analyst and digital strategist on Twitter as well – but what’s particularly interesting is why top government officials, including the president himself, have been named in the lawsuit.
Namely, Hart alleges collusion between these privately owned giants and the US government, with the purpose of monitoring, flagging, suspending and deleting content that it chooses to label as misinformation.
Under current rules in the US dictated by its Constitution, the government would not be able to do this directly; but recent statements coming from Biden and some of his top collaborators have added fuel to the fire of suspicion that a form of collusion to suppress free expression on the internet might actually be taking place.
Biden recently went as far – to then be forced to walk back – as to publicly accuse Facebook of “killing people” by not getting rid of COVID content unwanted by the current administration fast enough.
This happened just after White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “We are regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public health that we and many other Americans are seeing across all of social and traditional media,” adding, “You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others.”