Feds taken to court for censoring comments about COVID shots

May 22, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A civil-rights organization has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over its ongoing efforts to work with social media companies to "monitor and censor" online support groups for those who suffered injuries from COVID-19 vaccines.

There has been documented a multitude of complications from those mRNA shots, including fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, and nausea, ranging up to deadly myocarditis and pericarditis.

The New Civil Liberties Alliance said it has concerns about the feds' work with social media organizations and the Stanford Internet Observatory's Virality Project.

"This sprawling censorship enterprise has combined the efforts of numerous federal agencies and government actors – including within the White House – to coerce and induce social media platforms to censor, suppress, and label as 'misinformation' speech expressed by those who have suffered vaccine-related injuries," the organization reported.

The case, Brianne Dressen, et al. v. Rob Flaherty, et al., urges a federal court in Texas to order a halt to "this government-sponsored censorship and declare this state action unlawful to prevent these defendants from further censoring such free speech and free association."

Casey Norman, litigation counsel, explained, "The government claims that it suppresses so-called misinformation for the sake of public safety and welfare. It is the government’s view that Americans cannot be trusted with their own minds and must be shielded at all costs from mis-, dis-, and malinformation – which is whatever the government deems it to be. Fortunately, the First Amendment says otherwise: the government may neither censor our clients nor induce others to do so."

The organization is representing Brianne Dressen, Shaun Barcavage, Kristi Dobbs, Nikki Holland, Suzanna Newell, and Ernest Ramirez. All but Ramirez have suffered vaccine-related injuries.

"To be clear, these plaintiffs are not anti-vaxxers. Ms. Dressen, for example, was injured by the AstraZeneca vaccine after she volunteered to participate in vaccine trials for that vaccine. Mr. Ramirez received a Moderna vaccine himself without incident but then lost his 16-year-old son to vaccine-induced cardiac arrest five days after Ernest, Jr. received the Pfizer vaccine. While such vaccine injuries may be rare, further research is necessary to establish the incidence of serious, even fatal, side effects for these still-new vaccines," the NCLA said, "Meanwhile, the First Amendment forbids defendants from suppressing the speech and association rights of innocent victims who are just seeking to commiserate with other sufferers."

The plaintiffs all have suffered from being censored on social media for sharing their personal experiences, exchanging advice, medical research, and support with others who were medically harmed after taking the vaccine, the organization explained.

"For posting about their personal experiences and trying to connect with others in the vaccine-injured community, plaintiffs’ speech has repeatedly been flagged as misinformation or removed entirely. Their social media accounts are at constant risk of being frozen or disabled just for engaging with other users in private support groups open only to vaccine-injured individuals and sharing perspectives the government deems misinformation."

The NCLA explained that the First Amendment would protect conversations "even if they were spreading false information."

Plaintiffs’ private speech or picking winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas is not a government right, the team said.

"Nor may the government induce, encourage, or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish – that is, censor truthful speech about vaccine injuries. But that is just what the federal government has been doing as it chips away at the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and replaces it with government-induced censorship," the legal team announced.

"Americans injured by experimentally approved COVID vaccines are being de-platformed, silenced, suppressed, defamed, and cancelled by their own government for reaching out to others simply to share and receive information critical to their physical and mental well-being. Government actors have bullied, threatened, and coerced social media companies to strip these plaintiffs of their First Amendment rights of association and speech. Suppression of speech critical of the government by the very government actors mandating the vaccine is frightening. NCLA’s lawsuit seeks to restore these plaintiffs’ civil liberties and the free flow of information guaranteed by the First Amendment for all Americans. We must never again lose our constitutional bearings in a pandemic," said Peggy Little, a senior counsel for NCLA.

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