Monday, November 13, 2023

New Report: Government Outsourcing Censorship of Conservatives

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A new report is revealing that the federal government partnered with universities and think tanks to censor conservative Americans. 

A document published last week by the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government details how the government circumvented constitutional protections of free speech to censor alleged misinformation online by collaborating with third-party organizations — mostly universities — to police and censor online speech of American citizens.

With a very consequential presidential election approaching, it's urgent that Americans are informed.

Be informed, not misled.

The report states, “What the federal government could not do directly, it effectively outsourced to the newly emerging censorship-industrial complex.”

The Stand published an excellent article on this undermining of freedom of speech:

"The nucleus of this “censorship-industrial complex” was the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), a conglomeration of private and government institutions formed in the summer of 2020 with Stanford University’s Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) as its flagship. The SIO “worked closely” with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a multi-agency State Department entity called the Global Engagement Center to “monitor and censor Americans’ online speech in advance of the 2020 presidential election.” By relying on non-government entities like Stanford and other universities, [including the University of Washington] the federal government could “launder its censorship activities in hopes of bypassing both the First Amendment and public scrutiny,” according to the report."

Here's how the censorship works.

Essentially, “external shareholders” such as government agencies would submit “misinformation” reports to the technically non-government EIP, declaring certain pieces of information to be “misinformation.” The EIP would then find as many examples of this particular piece of information on social media as possible and flag it.

If, for example, the EIP found a Facebook post spreading what government agencies reported was “misinformation,” the organization would search other platforms — like Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, etc. — for the same or similar posts and would then submit those flagged posts to the appropriate tech companies with recommendations on how the tech companies should respond — such as suppressing posts, suspending an account’s ability to post content for a given period of time, and outright removing posts.

The congressional report notes, “Instead of targeting foreign or inauthentic accounts, the EIP targeted Americans, disproportionately candidates and commentators with conservative viewpoints. And despite its stated purpose to combat “disinformation,” the EIP worked with social media companies to censor true information, jokes and satire, and political opinions.”

A lawsuit calls for private organizations to stop collaborating with the government on social media censorship.

Academics at Stanford University and the University of Washington have been accused of a “conspiracy” with the federal government to violate the First Amendment rights of social media users.

The pending federal lawsuit named several entities who worked with federal agencies to flag social media content related to the 2020 election and COVID-19 vaccines as “misinformation” and urged platforms to suppress it as part of two initiatives – one called the Election Integrity Partnership and the Virality Project.

The plaintiffs are the leaders of Health Freedom Louisiana and the conservative news website Gateway Pundit, who both alleged their content was targeted. They accused the universities and nonprofits of acting under government authority in their censorship efforts and in violation of the Constitution.

The plaintiffs requested damages and that all such activity between the government and the private sector would cease.

The university's response.

The College Fix asked Stanford and UW via email for comment on the allegations and whether an attorney reviews the programs at their research institutes to ensure legal compliance. Stanford’s media team did not respond to two inquiries. 

“The UW stands behind the Center for an Informed Public’s work,” Victor Balta, a UW spokesperson, said in an email to The Fix. “Given the potential litigation, we are unable to provide any further comment.”

A closer look at why the public must be informed on this matter.

America First Legal, one of the groups behind the lawsuit, explained the importance of the lawsuit:

“America First Legal is striking at the heart of the censorship-industrial complex for our clients,” AFL President Stephen Miller, a former aide to President Donald Trump, stated in the news release.

“We are filing a landmark class action lawsuit against the organizers and architects of an elaborate conspiracy to surveil and censor Americans to stop them from exercising their fundamental right to free speech,” Miller said. “To silence, banish, and deprive them of the means to earn a living.”

Miller described these activities as “a regime of surveillance, censorship, and control fit for communist China.”

“Under the Orwellian guise of policing ‘mis’ and ‘disinformation,’ the organizations and entities we are suing today are responsible for radically eroding the rights and liberties upon which the survival of free society depends,” Miller stated.

Miller promised that AFL will seek “full and complete justice for their victims” and “lead the charge to rescue America from tyranny.”

The New York Post notes that this has been happening for some time.

The Department of Homeland Security was censoring speech before the 2020 election, new emails released by the House Judiciary Committee show.

How? Through the favorite weapon of America’s intelligence apparatus, fake claims of disinformation.

Stanford University’s Election Integrity Partnership was set up at the request of DHS and its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, says a senior member of one of the EIP’s founding groups, and they were “in weekly comms to debrief about disinformation.

That was in July 2020.

It’s beyond clear that this was part of battlespace prep to help Joe Biden win that November.


America First Legal says, "The crusade we see against free speech in America, seemingly every day, is fundamentally antithetical to the country that our Founders intended and rooted in a deep animosity toward the Constitution. The concept of a government “by the people, for the people” has been inverted – the federal bureaucracy is not operating for the people; it is actively working against them with the help of weaponized private actors – it is time for accountability."

Indeed it is.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.