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Alternative media giants sue the censorship industrial complex
By News Editors // May 30, 2024

In a new lawsuit, Webseed and Brighteon Media have accused multiple US government agencies and prominent tech companies of orchestrating a vast censorship operation aimed at suppressing dissenting viewpoints, particularly concerning COVID-19. The plaintiffs, Webseed and Brighteon Media, manage websites like NaturalNews.com and Brighteon.com, which have been at the center of controversy for their alternative health information and criticism of government policies.

(Article republished from ReclaimTheNet.org)

We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.

The defendants include the Department of State, the Global Engagement Center (GEC), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and tech giants such as Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook), Google, and X. Additionally, organizations like NewsGuard Technologies, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) are implicated for their roles in creating and using tools to label and suppress what they consider misinformation.

Allegations of Censorship and Anti-Competitive Practices:

The lawsuit claims that these government entities and tech companies conspired to develop and promote censorship tools to suppress the speech of Webseed and Brighteon Media, among others. “The Government was the primary source of misinformation during the pandemic, and the Government censored dissidents and critics to hide that fact,” states Stanford University Professor J. Bhattacharya in support of the plaintiffs’ claims.

The plaintiffs argue that the government’s efforts were part of a broader strategy to silence voices that did not align with official narratives on COVID-19 and other issues. They assert that these actions were driven by an “anti-competitive animus” aimed at eliminating alternative viewpoints from the digital public square.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs have suffered substantial economic harm, estimating losses between $25 million and $50 million due to reduced visibility and ad revenue from their platforms. They also claim significant reputational damage as a result of being labeled as purveyors of misinformation.

The complaint details how the GEC and other agencies allegedly funded and promoted tools developed by NewsGuard, ISD, and GDI to blacklist and demonetize websites like NaturalNews.com. These tools, which include blacklists and so-called “nutrition labels,” were then utilized by tech companies to censor content on their platforms. The plaintiffs argue that this collaboration between government agencies and private tech companies constitutes an unconstitutional suppression of free speech.

A Broader Pattern of Censorship:

The lawsuit references other high-profile cases, such as Missouri v. Biden, to illustrate a pattern of government overreach into the digital information space. It highlights how these efforts have extended beyond foreign disinformation to target domestic voices that challenge prevailing government narratives.

Webseed and Brighteon Media are seeking both monetary damages and injunctive relief to prevent further censorship. They contend that the government’s actions violate the First Amendment and call for an end to the use of these censorship tools.

As the case progresses, it promises to shine a light on the complex interplay between government agencies, tech companies, and the tools used to control the flow of information in the digital age. The outcome could have significant implications for the future of free speech and the regulation of online content.

Read more at: ReclaimTheNet.org

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