Dem AG Rescinds Letter Demanding To Know How Rumble Is Censoring Content After Legal Pushback

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Democratic Attorney General Letitia James of New York withdrew on Thursday her letter to Rumble that called on the company to censor violent content, according to a document posted by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE).

James allegedly violated a court order by sending letters to Rumble, Meta, TikTok, Google, Reddit and X — formerly Twitter — about how they plan to ensure that violent content does not proliferate on their platforms amid the Israel-Hamas War, according to FIRE. A FIRE attorney demanded that James take back all the letters by Oct. 20, but James only retracted the one to Rumble, according to the document. (RELATED: Almost Half Of Biden Voters Think Gov Should ‘Regulate Or Restrict’ Speech They Consider ‘Offensive’)

“While we wholeheartedly disagree with your analysis and the contentions in your letter, in view of your statement that Rumble has ‘already provided its content-moderation policies’ to the Attorney General’s Office, and in the interest of avoiding any unnecessary dispute, this Office hereby withdraws the voluntary requests set forth in its October 12, 2023 letter to Rumble,” James’ office wrote.

FIRE asserted that a February federal district court decision to block a New York law censoring objectionable social media content precludes James from sending these letters, according to the email it sent to the attorney general.

“We’re glad that the attorney general backed down on the letter to Rumble but her response still doesn’t go far enough for us because it doesn’t rescind the letter to all the other platforms,” FIRE Attorney Daniel Ortner told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The Online Hate Speech Law is not enforceable, so we’re going to need to go to court to vindicate the injunction that we got.”

A federal district court judge issued an injunction against New York’s Online Hate Speech Law on Feb. 14, 2023, according to a filing. The judge found that the law “both compels social media networks to speak about the contours of hate speech and chills the constitutionally protected speech of social media users, without articulating a compelling governmental interest or ensuring that the law is narrowly tailored to that goal.”

“The October 12th letters ‘request’ information about the Investigated Platforms’ editorial policies, processes, and decisions for content that ‘may incite violence,’” FIRE argued in its letter. “At a minimum and on their face, the letters plainly seek to allow the Office to ‘take proof and make determinations of fact’ under the Online Hate Speech Law.”

James’ press office and Rumble did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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