Skip to main content

Opinion

Opinion

‘Twitter Files’ confirm worst of Big Tech censorship fears

Jan 03, 2023

Share

The internal Twitter documents, also known as the “Twitter Files,” provided by CEO Elon Musk to journalists Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, Lee Fang and Michael Shellenberger for public release were intended to criticize the decisions of Musk’s predecessors. Primarily, the goal was to pull back the curtain on alleged bias and government influence in the company’s content moderation efforts, including banning former President Donald Trump. Straight Arrow News contributor Ben Weingarten argues the “Twitter Files” have “confirmed everything conservatives suspected about Big Tech censorship.” He also has a number of lingering questions:

Who were all the folks with ties to the national security state at Twitter involved in its censorship regime, and to what extent were they coordinating with said national security state as they censored political dissidents?

When are we going to see congressional hearings and lawsuits to fully expose the censorship regime and punish those who arguably broke the law in connection therewith – including Section 241 Title 18 of the U.S. Code? As Columbia Law’s Philip Hamburger recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “If the gov-tech partnership to suppress speech isn’t a conspiracy to interfere in the enjoyment of the freedom of speech, what is?”

Where are the Facebook Files, the Reddit Files and the Wikipedia files?

The Intercept reported that prior to the 2020 election, these and other Big Tech companies met on a monthly basis with the FBI, CISA and other government representatives…part of an initiative, still ongoing, between the private sector and government to discuss how firms would handle misinformation during the election.

What were they coordinating about, and how did these companies respond?

On what authority was the federal government acting? Shouldn’t heads roll for using “national security” or “public health” as a pretext to target political opponents by running roughshod over our right to speak?

And what were the Big Tech companies and the security state colluding on in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections, and what about right this minute?

As with Russiagate, if there is no exposing the corruption, and no accountability for the corrupt, it guarantees far worse to come – and far worse may well be happening right now.

The Twitter Files have confirmed everything conservatives suspected about Big Tech censorship, and worse.

Since the release of the first report concerning Hunter Biden, we’ve learned a number of remarkable things that in any other period in American history would each individually generate wall-to-wall coverage for days, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigations from journalists, primetime Congressional hearings, and lawsuits.

All you have to do is imagine if there was a physical public square, and private speech police were muzzling people, up to the duly elected president himself, and cordoning them off in non-speech gulags – taking their cues from a secret, unaccountable, un-elected spy police force – to understand how chilling and tyrannical these efforts were.

The silence is deafening, but unsurprising, because harping on the ways in which our digital public square has been weaponized against political dissenters – namely conservatives – cuts against the interests of our political class and media since they were in on it. It’s a conspiracy of silence, just as there was a conspiracy to silence the opposition.

On that point, we learned for example that conservatives really were censored, and their views suppressed on Twitter.

Personalities like Charlie Kirk and Dan Bongino, those who hold a mirror up to progressive insanity like Libs of Tik Tok, and dissenting doctors from the prevailing Covidian orthodoxy like Jay Bhattacharya found themselves discriminated against.

Twitter’s overwhelmingly leftist executives, who in their internal deliberations showed they had almost ZERO respect for free speech and acted wholly arbitrarily and capriciously in “moderating” content shadowbanned Wrongthinkers, put them on blacklists, prevented their tweets from trending, and limited the visibility of certain accounts and even whole trending topics.

We also learned that there really was 2020 election interference by Twitter – and going well beyond just suppressing conservative accounts and what we had known about the security state and Democrats pressing Twitter to censor certain tweets and individuals, and Twitter complying.

As Matt Taibbi revealed, “Twitter, in 2020…was deploying a vast range of visible and invisible tools to rein in Trump’s engagement, long before J6.”

Taibbi notes, disturbingly, that during the run-up to the election, as Twitter’s censorship regime grew more and more ad hoc and subjective, “executives were…clearly liaising with federal enforcement and intelligence agencies about moderation of election-related content.”

After January 6, the Twitter Files demonstrate Soviet-style justice – show me the man and I’ll show you the thought-crime, as they grasped at any possible straw they could to justify banning Trump when they couldn’t justify it based on their own rules and regulations.

Characteristically, as Michael Shellenberger tweeted in this part of the files:

The *only* serious concern we found expressed within Twitter over the implications for free speech and democracy of banning Trump came from a junior person in the organization. It was tucked away in a lower-level Slack channel

As the individual said, tellingly:

“This might be an unpopular opinion but one off ad hoc decisions like this that don’t appear rooted in policy are imho a slippery slope… This now appears to be a fiat by an online platform CEO with a global presence that can gatekeep speech for the entire world…”

On January 7, as the Twitter files reveal, there was one other employee who expressed dissent, part of “a distinct minority within the company,” as “many Twitter employees were upset that Trump hadn’t been banned earlier.” That employee said “Maybe because I am from China, I deeply understand how censorship can destroy the public conversation.”

Their warnings went unheeded. Just these two areas alone – the censorship of conservative speech, and Twitter’s effective incalculably high in-kind contribution to Joe Biden and the Democrats by silencing Trump (leaving aside the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, the benefit of which also accrued to Joe) – and often seemingly in coordination with the feds raises a whole slew of issues of vital importance, because if the First Amendment is gone, we lose every other liberty.

Here are some of the lingering questions I have:

Who were all the folks with ties to the national security state at Twitter involved in its censorship regime, and to what extent were they coordinating with said national security state as they censored political dissidents?

When are we going to see congressional hearings and lawsuits to fully expose the censorship regime and punish those who arguably broke the law in connection therewith – including Section 241 Title 18 of the U.S. Code? As Columbia Law’s Philip Hamburger recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “If the gov-tech partnership to suppress speech isn’t a conspiracy to interfere in the enjoyment of the freedom of speech, what is?”

Where are the Facebook Files, the Reddit Files, and the Wikipedia files?

The Intercept reported that prior to the 2020 election, these and other Big Tech companies met on a monthly basis with the FBI, CISA, and other government representatives…part of an initiative, still ongoing, between the private sector and government to discuss how firms would handle misinformation during the election

What were they coordinating about, and how did these companies respond?

On what authority was the federal government acting? Shouldn’t heads roll for using “national security” or “public health” as a pretext to target political opponents by running roughshod over our right to speak?

And what were the Big Tech companies and the security state colluding on in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections, and what about right this minute?

As with Russiagate, if there is no exposing the corruption, and no accountability for the corrupt, it guarantees far worse to come – and far worse may well be happening right now.

Video Library

By entering your email, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and acknowledge the Privacy Policy.