Civics: Administrative Censorship

Jonathan Tobin:

Berenson’s final tweet before being banned said the following about Covid vaccines: “It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine. Think of it – at best – as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS. And we want to mandate it? Insanity.” 

As The Atlantic admitted this past week, his claims are inarguably correct. The notion that merely stating his concerns on an issue about which much is yet to be learned was something that merited government intervention and censorship is risible. 

It may be advantageous to take the vaccines, especially for those who are most at risk due to age or other health problems, but you don’t have to be an anti-vaxxer to understand that in the U.S., the government is not meant to have the power to shut down debates. 

Some might claim that normal rules don’t apply during public health emergencies, but that is undermined by the fact that pretty much all of the advice and warnings that came out of the public health establishment during the height of the pandemic were eventually proven wrong. The fact that the government was able to pressure the regulators of the 21st-century town square to silence controversial speech is outrageous and dangerous to democracy.

Our joint statement on discovery disputes legal brief, filed with the court and made public today, reveals scores of federal officials across at least eleven federal agencies have secretly communicated with social-media platforms to censor and suppress private speech federal officials disfavor. This unlawful enterprise has been wildly successful. Here are just a few excerpts from this document, which includes attachments of hundreds of pages of emails and other governmental and big tech internal communications as supporting evidence. These documents were obtained after we requested the following information on discovery: