The answer is yes. Whenever a private person coordinates the violations of constitutional rights against a U.S. citizen, with the government, there is a potential civil rights case against the state actor aka private party.
In a recent admission on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” the owner of Facebook admitted he censored people for daring to discuss the TRUE Hunter Biden laptop story on the eve of a presidential election.
“Yeah, it sucks,” Zuckerberg said. “It turned out after the fact, the fact-checkers looked into it, no one was able to say it was false … I think it sucks, though, in the same way that probably having to go through a criminal trial but being proven innocent in the end sucks.” – Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook’s owner admitted that the FBI called him and told him the Hunter Biden story was just Russian disinformation, which has NEVER been PROVEN to this day.
The laptop is real, as are its contents and images of Hunter having sex with alleged minor children and doing illegal drugs. It allegedly contains damning evidence of influence peddling against the president, his brother, and his son, Hunter Biden.
China was unhappy about Trump’s trade sanctions, as China was expected to surpass the U.S economically in 2016. Their hopes were dashed with the election of President Trump and his fair trade sanctions. China wanted Trump GONE. Biden has been trying to find a way to end the sanctions ever since he was elected without appearing too Pro-China.
“Now that Hunter Biden’s laptop has been authenticated, a very troubling narrative is emerging: Credible evidence that President Biden is compromised by China.” (Source.)
When president Biden surrendered to the Taliban he turned over all the cobalt mines there to China, with Hunter’s help according to news sources.
So it appears, according to these experts, that China blackmailed Joe Biden as part of an influence-peddling scheme in the minds of many security experts. Strangely enough, we never saw any false story about President Trump censored, so it looks pretty political of the far-left Zuckerberg to compare this to a trial. Here, there was zero notice and opportunity to answer the [false] charges.
In this case, Zuck convicted hundreds of users and destroyed their reputations by painting them as purveyors of Russian disinfo! And it turns out the real disinfo came from Democrat activists and FBI agents like Strzok, Page, and Thibault, as will be discussed.
To this day, Zuck has banned Trump based, in part at least, on these discredited partisan Democrat sources from inside the FBI.
Many businesses, including the New York Post, lost millions of dollars from being shadow-banned, censored, or outright canceled.
Most people believe the argument that government organizations (100% reliant on taxing citizens for pensions and retirements) are not partisan. However, most public employees, especially public school teachers, vote Democrat, and the vast majority of government employee political campaign donations go to Democrats. It’s not even close. The 80,000 + new IRS agents Biden just signed into law will represent a huge cash windfall in Democrat campaign donations.
We know that several rogue Democrat partisan FBI agents have been fired or forced to resign / retire for all their false characterizations and political partisanship, including:
Disgraced FBI Agent Timothy Thibault: Democrat activist FBI agent who “…infected major FBI investigations” that originated with the Hillary Clinton for president campaign and helped instigate a farce of links between Trump and Russia and worked to bury the ongoing Hunter Biden probe — had: “…covered up derogatory info about Mr. Biden while working at the FBI.” [assigned by FBI Washington Field Office as “point man.” His job was to manage whistleblower Tony Bobulinski, Hunter Biden’s business partner who had proof that Joe Biden was taking money as part of an influence-peddling scheme, before the 2020 election. However, Thibault, a Democrat activist, suppressed these damning revelations.]
Disgraced FBI Agent Peter Strzok: Fired from FBI in 2018 and hero to left-wing “news” stations like CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and NPR. Took the lead to get illegal FISA warrants issued against Donald Trump and his associates, based upon a dossier provided to the FBI by Hillary for President. (Crossfire Hurricane) He stated he had an “insurance policy” to get Trump from being elected and used the same strategy to get him impeached. Indeed, the Democrats, on a party-line vote, impeached Trump twice based mainly upon this now discredited information provided by team Hillary Clinton for president. Strzok’s punishment was to become a highly paid “expert” for CNN and even got an appointment at a far left wing University known to host Chinese communist campus clubs similar to Confucius Society.
Over 100 schools, including The George Washington University, host “Confucius Initiatives,” Chinese government-funded educational institutions purportedly designed for teaching Chinese culture, language and history, according to Politico. In reality, China uses these initiatives to advance a distorted view of the country’s history — human rights abuses are ignored, and the courses promote the narrative that Taiwan and Tibet are part of China. (Source.)
Disgraced FBI Agent Lisa Page: Page was the FBI lawyer who had a secret, adulterous love affair with Democrat activist FBI agent Peter Strzok, exchanging frequent texts bashing President Trump that supported Hillary Clinton and hated Christian “pro-lifers.” Page texted, “[I] Hate Those People.” Page, a hard-core Democrat activist, was assigned to investigate the Hillary Clinton criminal server case, which was swept under the rug. Page was rewarded with a cushy job at the far left-wing news channel, MSNBC.
It makes you wonder if these positions were awarded in exchange for keeping these rogue agents, rogue. Many experts believe former president Obama orchestrated every single false story and attack against Trump from inside the White House.
These people helped suppress the Hunter Biden Laptop story and are the same bureaucrats who deceived several District Court FISA judges to unlawfully surveil Carter Page and a presidential candidate, Donald Trump.
The question now is how people get their lives back when their millions of social media followers were lost and their image destroyed by false fact-check labels that originated from these now disgraced FBI agents and other political activists embedded in the FBI and other D.C. bureaucrats?
Why are federal agents being weaponized, so ordinary citizens lose their standing? How do we get justice against these scofflaws who perpetrated a fraud on the American people that was designed to assassinate anyone who didn’t agree with the pro-Democrat narrative?
Right now, no lawyers have been making the right arguments. In order to get to the Supreme Court, we must establish there is NOTHING neutral about left-wing fact-checkers. For example, adding a fact check label or censoring a poster is, in fact, “altering” content, and it is also defamatory by inference and innuendo. When a left-wing Silicon Valley company does this censoring, it is trying to create the impression that even TRUE information is false, thereby discrediting the content curator. So far, no one is getting this.
Federal officials across multiple agencies are coordinating with social media companies to censor “misinformation” or “false narratives,” impeding citizens’ constitutional rights, particularly First Amendment free speech rights. However, many believe that the federal government’s involvement aims to suppress private speech, including political speech aimed at federal officials. The Lerner, Page, Strzok issue isn’t going away and is likely the tip of the iceberg. The facts are so glaringly obvious only a blithering idiot would deny the appearance of impropriety here.
You may want to sue social media sites for censoring true stories, but it’s a little more complicated. Let’s explore the details of the news with Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys.
Republican Attorneys General Eric Schmitt and Jeff Landry released internal documents that revealed how several federal officials within the Biden administration coordinate with social media sites to censor information or political speech that is protected under the First Amendment.
The document reveals federal officials from multiple agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). According to the documents, they contacted Facebook and other social media platform employees via email, asking the private organizations to flag misinformation and oppose allegedly false narratives spreading across these platforms.
A thread of emails between a Facebook Health and Well-being Policy employee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) federal official got released. The back-and-forth emails reveal that CDC officials are meeting weekly with Facebook executives. It also exposed how they plan to conduct monthly misinformation debunking meetings.
Such revelation is evidence that government officials are deep into censorship and controlling what they believe is “misinformation.”
Other emails exposed how much power the White House has over Facebook. The most prominent social media company deleted a parody of Anthony Fauci’s account upon a single request made by a government official at the White House.
Another string of emails got released, but this time the conversation was between a federal official at the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Twitter executives.
Twitter employees discussed setting up regular chats to combat misinformation. The HHS provided them with a list of inappropriate content that the social media company removed, labeling their actions “violation of Twitter rules.”
The emails being released to the public are not what the federal agencies wanted and came when Attorneys General Eric Schmitt and Jeff Landry won the lawsuit in July. Upon winning the case, the Court asked the Biden Administration to hand over the conversations between federal officials and social media companies.
Schmitt stated that the Department of Justice (DoJ) is hiding behind executive privilege, refusing to provide conversations between top-ranked officials in the Biden Administration and private social media companies. On August 31, 2022, the Attorney Generals of Missouri and Louisiana compelled the courts to ask the DoJ to produce the required records.
The already provided records expose the “Censorship Enterprise” across multiple federal agencies. The defendants identified 45 federal officials from DHS, Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Security Agency, and CDC who were communicating with social media sites on “misinformation” and private censorship.
However, according to Schmitt, the Defendants have yet to disclose emails between top-level federal officials at other federal agencies, including numerous White House officials and social media companies.
The First Amendment restricts Congress from passing any law that would limit free speech in the United States. However, the First Amendment protection only applies to government entities and not private.
In the age of social media, private organizations like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have substantial control over speech, sometimes much more than the United States government. Freedom of speech advocates believes there is a need to expand the First Amendment to cover such private companies.
In the case of Nyabwa v. Facebook, 2018, the federal district court dismissed the lawsuit against Facebook, stating that the First Amendment rights are only aimed at the government and that the social media company is not a government organization. For 140 years, the Supreme Court has clearly stated that the constitutions and its protections limit governmental actors.
The Civil Rights Cases of 1883 is a group of five landmark cases where the Court developed the state action doctrine, whereby the plaintiff must prove that the government was responsible for the violation and not a private entity. Private businesses excluded African Americans from entering their privately owned facilities due to their race.
The plaintiffs took the stance that such actions violated the Equal Protection Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment. However, the Supreme Court argued that individual invasion of individual rights does not fall under the Fourteenth Amendment, and the plaintiffs must rely on common law protections, which at the time were not passed.
Facebook and other social media entities are blocking content they find objectionable, but if Congress did the same, it would result in a constitutional firestorm. But what if the existing doctrine recognizes social media platforms as state actors? It would certainly turn the world of these private organizations (Still shielded from being sued for lying under Section 230????) upside down.
There is a compelling argument that many legal professionals are not considering. If Congress does what they’re currently doing with online speech through Facebook by itself, it would immediately be unconstitutional. Let’s review a simple example to help you understand what we’re trying to convey here.
Let’s say California wants to censor all conservative speech. The Supreme Court recognizes a constitutional right to speak your mind. How does the single-party, anti-conservative state shut down speech when legislatures can’t ban speech outright, as it would go against the constitution?
What legislatures can do is pass a hate speech act and say you can only say nice things about the government unless they are Christians. It could allow immunity for individuals blocking conservative ideas online. With the Act, people cannot sue the individuals blocking access to free speech online. And that is basically how Section 230 is being used today. Now a partisan FBI official like Strzok can call Zuck and say, hey, these MAGA people are dangerous, so just say it’s Russian and label it so that people will disregard it as a “conspiracy theory.”
The government cannot take such actions on its own, as they would be unconstitutional (and what I just described above is also unlawful, but D.C. judges are letting it slide). By bringing an immunity statute, the feds can persuade private parties like Zuck to do their bidding, and Congress is doing this RIGHT NOW through the Communications Decency Act (CDA.).
If a private person or news outlet falsely damages a person’s reputation, that individual can sue them for defamation. Not so for the Democrat-run and beholden social media companies.
If Facebook did the same as a USA Today defamatory article, you could not pursue legal action because Section 230 of the CDA protects (Democrat-run/partisan) social media companies. Section 230 also exempts online platforms from civil and state criminal liability for action taken in good faith to exclude “offensive” material.
Providing such immunity to private organizations allows the government to do what it cannot constitutionally: restrict harmful or undesirable speech. For example, YouTube is a private actor, which courts wrongly decide means it can remove users and content at its discretion. This is a violation of net neutrality, pure and simple.
Time after time, lower courts found that online platforms provide a place for free expression, which does not make them state actors, in line with the Court’s decision for the Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck. However, cases like these do not address questions arising from section 230 about the existence of state action upon passing an immunity statute that allows private entities to conduct activities, which would constitute as unconstitutional if the state were to do it themselves due to the First Amendment law.
Let’s go over a case where the Supreme Court tackled such commercial partnered questions in the past.
In 1985, the Federal government introduced regulations requiring private railroad companies to ask their workers to take alcohol and drug tests. A clause in the rules provided immunity to the railroad companies from the state law that only allowed companies to conduct these tests under specific circumstances.
The clause didn’t compel railroads to take the tests but permitted them and provided them with immunity against state law. In Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives’ Assoc., the railroad laborers pursued legal action against the federal government, stating that the tests violated the Fourth Amendment. However, the defendants argued that any tests administered by the railroad companies are not compulsory but a decision by the private organizations themselves.
Surprisingly, the courts did not accept the argument, with the Supreme Court stating that although the government did not compel the private organizations to conduct the tests, it more than adopted a passive stance, implicating the Fourth Amendment rights.
The same logic applies to CDA section 230, which provides immunity to websites for censoring offensive or objectionable content, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected. It shows the government’s solid preferences for removing “offensive” content. The case Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives’ Assoc. is a close precedent. However, to date, courts have not yet discussed the implications of that case to the CDA section 230.
There may be particular distinctions between Skinner’s case and section 230 of the CDA, but we’re not going to get into that. Instead, let’s review another case study that could apply to Facebook and other social media platforms.
In the case of Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, the courts concluded that informal government pressure on private organizations could turn them into state actors. Bantam Books received a letter from the state commissioner to stop selling certain books as it contains objectable material. The commissioner threatened legal action against the seller if they continued selling the books. In this case, the Court found state action. The line is usually crossed when the government punishes or threatens the private party if they don’t follow their request.
The district court rejected the defendant’s argument in the Writers Guild v. Federal Communications Commission case. It concluded that the network (private actors) adopted a family viewing policy because of pressure from Federal Communications Commission, with the chairman threatening the industry with regulatory action. Here, the Court concluded that the networks banning the Writers Guild had become state actors as the governmental entities forced them to induce private conduct.
For years, Congress members have pressured Facebook to ban hate speech or false news, threatening them with burdening regulatory measures. For example, in April 2019, Rep. Cedric Richmond threatened Facebook for their hate speech rules, which proved effective as the online platform introduced several stringent measures to block hate or extremist content.
Can you sue social media under state actor theory and wipe out its broad immunity to destroy people who speak freely? The conclusion is that when government pressure joins forces with statutory provisions like CD section 230, the outcome is state action, with public officials triggering constitutional restraints.
Although litigants and judges are slow to see a private company as a state actor, previous case decisions strongly suggest that Facebook and other media platforms are state actors when they stop “objectionable” content, especially when threatened by an alternative political view that goes against the academics at these pro-Democrat companies.
“Amy Howe, Justices Take on One New Case, SCOTUS Blog (October 12, 2018)” https://www.scotusblog.com/2018/10/justices-take-on-one-new-case/ (noting that oral arguments are set to take place next month).  Halleck v. Manhattan Cmty. Access Corp. 882 F.3d 300, 308 (2d Cir. 2018).  Dan Kirkpatrick, Political Broadcasting Rules Q&A, Comm Law Blog (February 27, 2018) https://www.commlawblog.com/2018/02/articles