The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is suing U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA). The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Jan. 20, 2020 by the AAPS and Katarina Verrelli, alleges that Rep. Schiff abused the federal government’s authority when he wrote Amazon, Facebook and Google last year to “deplatform or discredit what Schiff asserted to be inaccurate information on vaccines.”1
In the complaint against Rep. Schiff, the AAPS argues, “The First Amendment protects the rights of free speech and association. Included within the right of free speech is a right to receive information from willing speakers. Under the First Amendment, Americans have the right to hear all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without government interference or limitations. Content-based restrictions on speech are presumptively unconstitutional, and courts analyze such restrictions under strict scrutiny.”1
“The internet is supposed to provide free access to information to people of different opinions,” said AAPS Executive Director Jane Orient, MD.1
In letters sent to the CEOs of Facebook and Google on Feb. 14, 2019, Rep. Schiff wrote: “As a Member of Congress who is deeply concerned about declining vaccination rates, I am requesting additional information on the steps that you currently take to provide medically accurate information on vaccinations to your users, and to encourage you to consider additional steps you can take to address this growing problem.”2
Rep. Schiff added: “I was pleased to see YouTube’s recent announcement that it will no longer recommend videos that violate its community guidelines, such as conspiracy theories or medically inaccurate videos, and encourage further action to be taken related to vaccine misinformation.”2
On Mar. 1, 2019, Rep. Schiff wrote a similar letter to the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, saying: “As the largest online marketplace in the world, Amazon is in a unique position to shape consumption. The algorithms which power social media platforms and Amazon’s recommendations are not designed to distinguish quality information from misinformation or misleading information and, as a result, harmful anti-vaccine messages have been able to thrive and spread. The consequences are particularly troubling for public health issues.”3
He added: “I am concerned by the report that Amazon accepts paid advertising that contains deliberate misinformation about vaccines; promoting these advertisements as suggested content ahead of intended search results. Every online platform, including Amazon, must act responsibly and ensure that they do not contribute to this growing public health catastrophe.”3
According to the AAPS, within 24 hours of Rep. Schiff’s letter to Bezos, Amazon removed the videos Vaxxed and Shoot ’Em Up: the Truth About Vaccines from its “platform for streaming videos, depriving members of the public of convenient access.”1
“On Facebook, a search for an AAPS article on vaccines, which previously would lead directly to the AAPS article, now produces search results containing links to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” said the AAPS. “Visits to the AAPS website have declined significantly since March 2019, both in absolute terms and relative to the decline that would result from a story’s losing its recency.”1
“AAPS is not ‘anti-vaccine,’ but rather supports informed consent, based on an understanding of the full range of medical, legal, and economic considerations relevant to vaccination and any other medical intervention, which inevitably involves risks as well as benefits,” noted Dr. Orient.1
“Who appointed Congressman Adam Schiff as Censor-in-Chief? No one did, and he should not be misusing his position to censor speech on the internet,” said AAPS General Council Andrew Schlafly.1 4 5
1 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Rep. Adam Schiff Sued by Physicians for Censoring Vaccine Debate. Jan. 15, 2020.
2 Press Release. Schiff Sends Letter to Google, Facebook Regarding Anti-Vaccine Misinformation. Congressman Adam Schiff Feb. 14, 2019.
3 Press Release. Schiff Sends Letter to Amazon CEO Regarding Anti-Vaccine Misinformation. Congressman Adam Schiff Mar. 1, 2019.
4 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Board of Directors.
5 GlobeNewswire. Court Rules ObamaCare Individual Mandate Unconstitutional, Reports Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). ForexTV.com Dec. 19, 2019.
So it would appear that “Shifty Schiff” applies to many things that this Congressman does! His position of power has definitely enlarged his head, making him presume that he knows best for all of us!
hey PUBLIC SERVANT Schiff YOUR NOT A DICTATOR FIRE HIS AS
This is continuing evidence of how dangerous Adam Schiff is to our republic. He considers himself the arbiter of the truth – he is the king of lies. Just like he has done engineering this entire impeachment sham, he continues to prevent us from hearing the truth and deciding for ourselves on a number of issues. He has GOT TO GO!
This is wonderful to see an organization with the courage to stand up for what’s right and for fundamental freedom of speech!! Thank you AAPS!!! Hope this inspires organizations to also began to speech out for individual freedom.
“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.”
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
Although he’s wrong he has the same first amendment rights you do. So far it only looks like he’s asking someone to do something; not tell. I’m not sure on what grounds he can be sued. I suggest we spend our time trying to inform him rather than censor him. What have YOU done to inform him?
Interview with Dr. Jane Orient of AAPS about this lawsuit: http://tobtr.com/11661241. Permanent link for same interview: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/themaryandsallieshow/2020/01/21/dr-jane-orient-of-aaps-schiff-sued-by-physicians-for-censoring-vaccine-info
Its about time this issue has been brought to the forefront. I know that about a year ago FB suddenly quit allowing anti-vaccine sites to post. This is a violation of free speech in this country. Censoring this subject that screams of injustice and the unwillingness of the vaccine industry to follow common medical and industry wide research on the issues that impact those who receive these “therapies” borders on the surreal if not questionable. There has been an effort by the vaccine industry to clean up these injections by taking out the obvious dangerous chemicals but it has been not enough. The medical world needs to be honest and study vaccinations more seriously and quit poo pooing that they do not cause injury which they obviously do. Its a sad day when people like Mr Shiff(ty) are allowed to quash discussion that will improve and make safe something that has been foisted on others without any regard to the possibility that what they are doing might be dangerous and even lethal to some. The day is coming when what we are telling, NO, demanding will be proven to have been deleterious to others because we were incapable of always questioning and working towards what is right and really does work.
Edited to correct a miss spelling. There should be an option available to edit a message.
It’s excellent that AAPS is standing up for the truth and the law. It’s time that others do too. No one should be thought to be above the law but many in Congress and government feel they are!
Everybody should download the e-book (for free) “Truth Will Prevail,1200 Studies that refute vaccine-claims” by Dr. A. Palmer from http://www.1200studies.com
This is great news! I have wished for the truth about vaccines to be known since I had my first child 29 years ago – both sides must be heard of that is ever to happen. Best of luck AAPS from Heather in Dublin, Ireland.
So happy to see someone go after him. As you said who put him in charge & furthermore why did Amazon, Facebook, YouTube & others comply so quickly without batting an eye?
Yay! I hope they take this self-selected censor of both things and people right off the map. Schiff has abused his power in so many way, starting with vaccines and continuing with the shameful impeachment process that was outside of Constitutional bounds. What’s next for this self-proclaimed arbiter of the public good?
Thank goodness for the AAPS. Individuals are ultimately responsible for their own and their children’s health. Health decisions are better made when all available information regarding a health choice is accessible.
This man and those who have his worldview are out to destroy us. We need to keep taking a stand for what is right, like our present President. Thank you for all YOU do to fight the wrongs. Question: How can we contact Amazon to voice our disapproval and indicate we can’t do business with a company that censors in this way?
Excellent news that runaway government is being held to account. What will teh remedy be for this censoring?
Well, know I know where he gets his funding (aka bribes).
Who appointed Adam Schiff as Censor in Chief? The pharma industry most likely “contributed” to his campaign or outright bribed him. It’s absolutely disgusting and dangerous what is happening in America now. Websites are being removed, content is being censored, and the truth is being squelched for an evil agenda that is destroying the brains and bodies of our children, our future. This is beyond criminal and if Mr. Schiff is found guilty I hope he faces severe consequences. There is NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER to harm people for profit, and that is EXACTLY what is happening here.
Perhaps someone should check to see how much Rep. Schiff receives annually in “donations” from Big Pharma…
I would like to print this article, but your website doesn’t provide that ability. Could you please correct this so more people can spread this type of valuable information.
Adam Schiff should participate in a televised debate with a vaccine knowledgeable AAPS member so the viewers can see just how “knowledgeable” he is on this subject. And, amazon and other large websites should not show they are biased regarding any political statements to the extent where valuable information is withheld from those desiring to access this information. No one can make a truly informed decision about vaccines without access to all the available uncensored data.
Thank you AAPS for pushing back. These are the issues of today, that mostly go unnoticed by the public. We must stand in the way of government overreach – especially with regards to the Internet. Internet free speech is in the hands of too few entities. Not balanced.
Thank you for filing this lawsuit to protect freedom of speech!
First Amendment Rights. Freedom of speech whether we agree with the speaker or writer. We do have Freedom of thought. It’s for sure it’s not concern for our health but the kick backs that Shift gets from Fake Pharma.
Thank you for standing up to these internet censor bullies. Adam Schiff has no right whatsoever to demand Facebook, uTube, Amazon etc censor Medical information. This is an atrocious violation of our rights but what is more atrocious is most people wander around nose in phone, oblivious to the catastrophic loss of our freedom.
I am so glad an organization like AAPS has taken a stand against this kind of behavior. Adam Schiff, nor anyone in the government, has the right to censor information. I am free to research topics and make my own decisions on them, or at least I thought that was part of what makes America great. How dare he begin his censorship campaign and mis-use his governmental authority to tell large organizations what they can and cannot make available to the public on the Internet. He is a walking, talking (too much) example of government overreach and the spreading of falsehoods. Censorship is not ok in America. Finally, Mr. Schiff should be forced to define what he considers a “growing public health catastrophe.” I would argue there is none; rather, there should be a growing public concern for the government’s expressed desire to tell citizens what they must do to their bodies and force them to do it.
Thank you for posting this. I didn’t know Schiff had done this. This is unconstitutional. I am worried about our freedom of speech. The truth is being censored by both sides of our supposed government.
Thank you for publishing this and standing up for free speech and the constitution.
In addition, Facebook is now taking revenue from pharmaceutical ads. They’ve been bought like mainstream media who get about 70% of their ad revenue from pharma,
how ironic that Schiff is abusing his power as he shows America how Donald Trump has been abusing his power. The problem with politics these days, Too bad corporations have so much power Schiff is wrong about prochoice Doctors who are defending our need for acurate information that can give a scientific understanding of the risks and benefits of Vaccines.
Well, what da ya know? A high ranking DEMOCRAT stifling free speech/freedom of access to information. So now they go after the first Amendment as well as the second amendment. Which amendment will be next?
I had actually wrote to Adam Schiff after I learned he had pressured not only Amazon from removing access to the movie “vaxxed” but also other infringement on our access to information, asking him in not so many words who gave him the right to decide what I read, watch, listen to!! of course I never received any answers. I had a similar experience with Bernie Sanders campaign when I asked him about his stands on freedom of choice… and it was extremely disappointing (although not unfortunately unforeseen) that the answer from his campaign was that he was in great support of mandatory vaccination (and basically removing our rights to choose or consent for this procedure). I recommended he read a bit more before making drastic decisions on my behalf. I never heard from them again….
The protection of our 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech contains within it an inherent risk to industrial profit. In some cases, this right is just that, a risk which we must accept. But in other cases, this right is an important check against the potential for corporate abuse of the public trust.
The Democrat/Socialist platform is at work everyday to destroy our Constitutional rights. I thank you for bringing this lawsuit against one of the “leaders” of their party & standing up for the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America