A first-of-its-kind antitrust action was filed Tuesday against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), The Washington Post, Reuters and Associated Press, seeking damages totaling millions of dollars based on the collusive censorship of online health and political news publishers who dared to question the narrative relating to vital matters such as the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine mandates.
The lawsuit reveals that by March 2020, a partnership was created called the Trusted News Initiative (TNI) between Big Tech and legacy media to exclude rival publishers from the dominant internet platforms. On Dec. 10, 2020, TNI agreed to focus on combatting the spread of harmful vaccine disinformation. This coordinated effort is, by definition, a classic unlawful “group boycott” to damage the ability of smaller publishers to compete or even survive.
Members of the TNI include legacy media outlets the BBC, The Washington Post, Reuters and Associated Press, along with social media and tech giants — Twitter, Meta (Facebook/Instagram), Microsoft/LinkedIn and Google/YouTube.
The TNI members collectively hold 90% of the overall social media market, an 85% market share of the online social media news market, a 90% share of the social networking market, 75% of the video hosting market, and over 90% of the search-engine market.
The complaint points to multiple examples of what plaintiffs state violates antitrust laws.
“By their own admission, members of the ‘Trusted News Initiative’ (‘TNI’) agreed to work together, and have in fact worked together, to exclude from the world’s dominant Internet platforms rival news publishers who engage in reporting that challenges and competes with TNI members’ reporting on certain issues relating to COVID-19 and U.S. politics.
For example, TNI members deemed the following to be ‘misinformation’ that could not be published on the world’s dominant Internet platforms:
- claims that COVID originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China
- claims that the COVID vaccines do not prevent infection
- claims that vaccinated persons can transmit COVID to others;
- claims that compromising emails and videos were found on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden.
The TNI did not only prevent Internet users from making these claims; it shut down online news publishers who simply reported that such claims were being made by potentially credible sources, such as scientists and physicians. …
Dr. Ben Tapper, Dr. Joseph Mercola, independent news publisher and founder of The Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft, independent journalists Ben Swann and Erin Elizabeth Finn, independent news outlets TrialSite News and Creative Destruction Media and health-freedom activists Ty and Charlene Bollinger join Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Children’s Health Defense (CHD) as plaintiffs.
The censorship is certainly immoral and harmful to society, but it is probably illegal as well. Let’s see if their courts are still fair.