The FBI is successful at getting speech censored from the internet 50% of the time, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a September court filing as part of an ongoing free speech lawsuit.
DOJ Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said in a September court filing that the FBI successfully convinced social media platforms to remove online speech at a “50-percent rate.” Preloger was arguing in support of the Biden administration’s request for the Supreme Court to extend its stay on a federal injunction blocking the federal government from encouraging platforms to censor content online. (RELATED: Federal Judge’s Ruling Is Nothing Short Of Devastating For Dems’ Censorship Regime, Experts Say)
“And it is far-fetched to conclude, as respondents do, that some of the largest and wealthiest companies on the planet, represented by highly competent counsel, would be coerced by general answers to questions about potential legislative changes at press conferences or in cable television interviews,” the DOJ argued in the filing.
“The platforms’ routine decisions not to remove content that the government had flagged further refutes any claim of coercion. Appl. 27. Respondents apparently view the FBI’s 50-percent rate as evidence of coercion because ‘any major-league slugger would envy’ a .500 batting average,” the filing adds.
The Supreme Court extended the injunction’s stay to Sept. 27 on Friday after Justice Samuel Alito temporarily froze it. The Fifth Circuit of Appeals partially affirmed Sept. 8 a lower court’s sweeping injunction that the Biden administration violated the First Amendment by coercing social media platforms into censoring speech.
The Fifth Circuit agreed on Monday to the plaintiff’s request to rehear the case and consider expanding its injunction. Plaintiffs argued the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and State Department officials should be included in the injunction. They also argued for the injunction to prevent government officials from coordinating with private-sector partners including the Election Integrity Partnership and Virality Project.
The FBI declined to comment.
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