Wednesday, July 05, 2023

NYT Federal Judge Limits Biden Officials’ Contacts With Social Media Sites 

The Republican attorneys general of Texas and Florida are defending first-of-their-kind state laws that bar internet platforms from taking down certain political content, and legal experts believe those cases may eventually reach the Supreme Court. The high court this year declined to limit a law that allows the platforms to escape legal liability for content that users post to the sites.

The ruling on Tuesday, in a lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri, is likely to be appealed by the Biden administration, but its impact could force government officials, including law enforcement agencies, to refrain from notifying the platforms of troublesome content.

Government officials have argued they do not have the authority to order posts or entire accounts removed, but federal agencies and the tech giants have long worked together to take action against illegal or harmful material, especially in cases involving child sexual abuse, human trafficking and other criminal activity. That has also included regular meetings to share information on the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

The White House said the Justice Department was reviewing the ruling and evaluating its next steps.

“Our consistent view remains that social media platforms have a critical responsibility to take account of the effects their platforms are having on the American people, but make independent choices about the information they present,” the White House said in a statement.

Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, declined to comment. Twitter did not have a comment, and Google did not respond to a request for comment.

Democracy Now June 9th: DOJ vs. African People’s Socialist Party: Omali Yeshitela Blasts Charges of Being Russian Agent 

Yeshitela's an ass. It's irrelevant. I shouldn't have to say it.

Tampa Bay Times, May 10,  St. Petersburg Uhuru members speak for first time since indictment

It’s a matter of free speech, says Omali Yeshitela, the longtime leader of the St. Petersburg-based Uhuru Movement and founder of the African People’s Socialist Party.

Yeshitela was indicted by a federal grand jury in Tampa last month and accused of working with Russian nationals to sow discord in the United States, spread pro-Russian propaganda and influence elections, along with two other members of the Uhuru Movement, Penny Joanne Hess and Jesse Nevel.

On Wednesday, the three Uhuru members spoke to the press for the first time since their indictment.

“I believe in free speech,” Yeshitela said at the news conference. “If I didn’t believe in free speech, I would never have said anything because they kill Black people for talking in this country.” 


Twitter said 100 accounts with Russian ties were removed for amplifying narratives that undermined faith in NATO and targeted the United States and the European Union.


"For those of you who have been with us so far, you'll know that we've been thinking and talking a lot about how the First Amendment should adjust to the new challenges of the platform era."

"And that's an important story because tech platforms are perhaps the most important speech regulators in the world." 

Republicans want to ban books; Democrats want to ban "disinformation"; it's one syllable or five. But Democrats want corporations to do the dirty work, so Facebook is free to incite in the quest for engagement, and the speech of its captive audience is policed. 


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