Lawsuit Alleges Mainstream Media Organized Coalition to ‘Collectively Censor Online News’

The Trusted News Initiative (TNI) was designed to prevent the spread of “misinformation.”

  • Chairman of Children’s Health Defense (CHD) Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit, Dr. Joseph Mercola, and others have filed a lawsuit against legacy media coalition Trusted News Initiative (TNI).
  • The lawsuit alleges TNI violated antitrust laws and First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of the press.
  • TNI, formed in 2020, partnered with Big Tech to censor “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,” the lawsuit says.
  • Some of the censored “misinformation” pertains to COVID-19 origins, the Covid vaccine, and Hunter Biden’s laptop.
  • The TNI defendants include the Washington Post, the BBC, the Associated Press, and Reuters.
  • The lawsuit specifically targeting TNI media organizations was filed in the District Court for the Northern District of Texas-Amarillo Division for the purpose of being “more neutral” on censorship issues, as Big Tech organizations are centered in California and present more legal challenges, CHD President Mary Holland stated.
  • The lawsuit claims that TNI “shut down online news publishers who simply reported that such claims were being made by potentially credible sources, such as scientists and physicians” out of “economic self-interest” (lawsuit emphasis).
  • The “industry partnership” in the TNI coalition is known as a “group boycott” and is a “per se violation of the Sherman Act” (lawsuit emphasis).
  • An illegal group boycott refers to a group of competitors seeing to “disadvantage [other] competitors by either directly denying or persuading or coercing suppliers or customers to deny relationships the competitors need in the competitive struggle.”
  • The plaintiffs claim that being denied access to media platforms is to be denied “access to the market itself.”
  • The Supreme Court recently declined to hear Brunson v. Adams, a case challenging the 2020 results and calling for the removal of hundreds of federal officials.
  • Oral arguments are set to be heard for two Big Tech cases, Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh, to decide limits for Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. The decisions may change tech platforms’ legal protections in moderating posts.