Court eases curbs on Washington’s contacts with social media companies

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The three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled two months after a Louisiana judge found that U.S. officials illegally coerced Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META)’ Facebook and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s YouTube into censoring posts related to COVID-19 and the 2020 election.

In an unsigned decision, the appeals court vacated the judge’s injunction except for a provision concerning alleged coercion, which it narrowed.

It also said the injunction would still cover the White House, the surgeon general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI, but no longer cover other federal officials.