The federal government and NewsGuard, a news reporting agency committed to finding and pointing out disinformation, were sued Friday. The lawsuit alleges the two entities committed First Amendment violations.
The lawsuit against the federal government and NewsGuard was filed by the Southern District of New York by the Consortium for Independent Journalists. The lawsuit was filed after Elon Musk called for NewsGuard to be disbanded.
According to the lawsuit, NewsGuard is “engaged in a pattern and practice of labeling, stigmatizing and defaming American media organizations that oppose or dissent from American foreign and defense policy, particularly as to Russia and Ukraine.”
The lawsuit and business mogul Elon Musk allege that NewsGuard targets people who are against the Biden administration’s foreign policy. The lawsuit also alleges that if someone disagrees openly with the policy, including the policy to fund Ukraine.
What NewsGuard is doing is not hunting down disinformation. What they are doing is finding those posts that disagree with their viewpoint and marking them as disinformation.
Disinformation was made famous during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many news sources and social media platforms took a stance against misleading information or misinformation regarding the vaccines and the overall safety aspects of the virus.
The policies on disinformation and misleading information have slowly trickled into political arenas. The trickle-down effect from medical information to political information has caused the concept of policing disinformation to change.
The changes are now affecting how people vocalize their opinions. There is no area for agreeing to disagree or having a different opinion.
If you disagree, you are misled. If you post a social media post or an article regarding your viewpoint and difference of views, you are now posting disinformation.
This was the concern for many people when the idea of policing for disinformation began. The concern was that the policing would become a witch hunt for anyone disagreeing with whoever was the one doing the policing.
NewsGuard has proven those concerns to be valid.