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US govt appeals sentence limiting social media interaction

Washington, Jul 5 (EFE).- The United States government appealed Wednesday the sentence that limits the contact of certain official departments and agencies with social media companies.

The Justice Department filed an appeal document with the Louisiana federal district court that issued the ruling.

The court action comes after White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre criticized the ruling.

Judge Kayla McClusky ruled Tuesday in favor of restricting interaction with the platforms to the Department of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other agencies.

The FBI, the Justice Department and the State Department were also vetoed, as well as specific representatives such as Jean-Pierre herself, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, or Health Secretary Xavier Becerra.

Specifically, it prohibits them from meeting social media representatives to “urge, encourage, pressure or induce in any way the withdrawal, elimination, suppression or reduction of content” published in the exercise of freedom of expression.

All of them were also prohibited from sending them emails, letters or text messages for the same purpose, or calling them for that purpose as well.

Judge Terry Doughty, appointed by former Republican President Donald Trump, partially justified the state of Missouri and other private plaintiffs, who said the administration had overreached by pressuring companies to eliminate certain publications. The content allegedly contained misinformation about the coronavirus, security during elections and other topics.

“Social media has a critical responsibility to take action or take into account the effects that their platforms have on Americans, but they make independent decisions about the information they present,” the presidential spokeswoman stressed at her press conference.

Jean-Pierre added that the Biden administration will continue to “promote responsible action to protect public health and safety in the face of challenges such as a deadly pandemic or foreign attacks on the election.”

The magistrate said in his resolution that during the Covid-19 pandemic that the US federal government seemed to have assumed a role similar to that of the “Ministry of Truth,” the fictitious institution devised by George Orwell in his novel “1984.”

For Republican Senator Eric Schmitt, representative of the state of Missouri, Tuesday’s decision was “a blow to censorship” and an “immense victory” for the First Amendment to the constitution, which protects, among other things, freedom of expression and press, he said on Twitter. EFE


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