Hart v. Facebook

Liberty Justice Center is fighting back against free speech violations and censorship in Hart v. Facebook, a lawsuit filed against Facebook, Twitter, President Joe Biden and the U.S. Surgeon General.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees Americans the right to free speech—a freedom that includes the right to question the government and offer differing opinions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, federal officials began to train social media companies to target “misinformation” so they could do by proxy what they cannot do directly: censor Americans’ online speech because of its topic or viewpoint.

The Liberty Justice Center is fighting back against these violations of the First Amendment in Hart v. Facebook, a federal lawsuit filed against Facebook (now Meta), Twitter (now X), President Joe Biden, and the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. LJC filed the case on behalf of data analyst and digital strategist Justin Hart, who has had his Facebook and Twitter accounts suspended multiple times for sharing data and scientific research about COVID that challenged the views endorsed by the Biden Administration.

Beginning in April 2021, officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, began jointly working with Facebook and Twitter to control the expression of information and viewpoints on COVID-19 on those platforms. At that time, the government also began training private social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter, on content moderation of COVID misinformation.

The CDC’s Chief of Digital Media, Carol Crawford, was the primary government official to conduct content moderation training on COVID Misinformation. Crawford later testified before court that the CDC, the HHS, and the White House were “collaboratively working on” COVID-related communications with social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. In a July press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki similarly confirmed that senior White House staff were “in regular touch” with the social media platforms. Along with Crawford, government officials including Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty, and President Biden jointly participated with Facebook and Twitter officials to suppress the expression of disfavored viewpoints on COVID-19.

In July 2021, shortly after the CDC began training social media companies in content moderation, Facebook and Twitter suspended Hart’s accounts due to his posts on masking—deeming them “misinformation” based on the training the government had given to Facebook and Twitter. Although Facebook and Twitter have restored Hart’s posting privileges, they now require that he and other users express a government-approved viewpoint to use their platforms.

Liberty Justice Center Senior Counsel Buck Dougherty said, “When Facebook and Twitter take their hands off the wheel and allow federal officials to train them in content moderation, they can no longer claim to be acting as private entities—their decisions to suppress speech, in violation of the First Amendment, may be fairly attributed to the government.”


Buck Dougherty

Buck Dougherty

Buck Dougherty is a Senior Counsel at the Liberty Justice Center, where he litigates in trial and appellate courts on behalf of everyday citizens in order to protect their civil liberties and preserve their constitutional rights.

James McQuaid

James McQuaid

James McQuaid is a staff attorney at Liberty Justice Center where he assists in cases to protect the rights to free speech, economic liberty, private property, and other Constitutional rights in courts across the country.

Case Press Releases

Case In The News

The Daily Caller
November 8, 2023

(The Daily Caller)—Imagine that the next Republican administration coerced Twitter into censoring the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, or pressured Facebook into creating an algorithm that suppresses progressive political speech and amplifies conservative speech, by training these social media companies to moderate content based on what the government determined was “misinformation.” You would...

September 15, 2022

Hart has been on the frontlines of the war against social media deplatforming and censorship, suing Big Tech and the Biden Administration To schedule an interview, contact Kristen Williamson at [email protected] or 773-809-4403.

Rational Ground
April 22, 2022
LJC's Daniel Suhr joined Justin Hart on his Rational Ground podcast to delve into the myriad of cases (including Hart's own) in the fight for free speech during the Covid pandemic....
New York Post
September 9, 2021

(New York Post)—Ask questions or post content about COVID-19 that runs counter to the Biden administration’s narrative and find yourself censored on social media. That’s precisely what data analyst and digital strategist Justin Hart says happened to him. And so last week the Liberty Justice Center, a public-interest law firm,...

September 7, 2021

(NewsMax | Cortes & Pellegrino Show)—Hart v. Facebook plaintiff Justin Hart and Liberty Justice Center’s Daniel Suhr appeared on Newsmax’s Cortes & Pellegrino show to discuss the case. Liberty Justice Center is representing data analyst Justin Hart in a federal lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, President Joe Biden, and the U.S....

Just the News
July 20, 2021

(Just the News)—An influential COVID policy skeptic is threatening to sue Facebook for suspending his account based on a graphic he posted Tuesday, titled “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.” Justin Hart was identified in a recent MIT paper as one of a...

Case Documents

August 31, 2021
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Hart v. Facebook


August 31, 2021


United States District Court for the Southern District of California




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