Federal agencies resume discussions with social media companies regarding removal of ‘disinformation’

by | May 9, 2024

According to Senator Mark Warner, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, key federal agencies have resumed discussions with social media companies regarding the removal of ‘disinformation’ from their platforms as the November presidential election approaches.

This marks a significant reversal after months of the Biden administration halting communications with social platforms amid ongoing litigation in the Supreme Court over First Amendment rights.

The discussions were reignited as the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Murthy v. Missouri, initially brought before the Fifth Circuit appellate court last July. The case centers on allegations that federal agencies, including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), pressured platforms to remove content related to vaccine safety and the 2020 presidential election.

The lawsuit was filed by Missouri's former Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who claimed that the Biden administration violated First Amendment rights by censoring politically conservative voices online.

Warner stated that communications between agencies and social platforms resumed around the same time that several justices seemed to lean towards supporting the executive branch's position on the matter.

Warner mentioned that his committee plans to hold a hearing on election security in two weeks. The session, originally scheduled with CISA Director Jen Easterly and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines last month, was postponed due to GOP efforts to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

For about six months, agencies refrained from communicating with social media companies about election security and other ‘disinformation’ issues.

The Supreme Court's decision in this case will determine whether agencies can continue to engage with social media firms on issues of potential ‘disinformation’.


Source: NextGov



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