Twitter Is Suppressing Free Speech Under the Direct Orders of the Government. So What Else Is the Government Hiding?

HNewsWire: After a cache of papers detailing Twitter's censoring efforts before the 2020 presidential election was released, CEO Elon Musk implied that the company was working under government directives to limit free expression.

Musk tweeted late on Friday that "Twitter acting alone to restrict free expression is not a 1st amendment violation," but that "operating under instructions from the government to suppress free speech, with no court review," would be.

Musk's comments were made in the wake of the release on Friday of a trove of internal tweets detailing the company's efforts to bury the New York Post's blockbuster "Hunter Biden laptop" story.

'Restriction of Freedom of Expression'
Musk had earlier hinted that Twitter's internal files on the company's "free speech suppression" would soon be made public, and on Friday he shared a thread from independent journalist Matt Taibbi, who detailed a series of internal Twitter communications that give insight into various actions taken by staff at the social media platform, including suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story.

Disclosures made public by Taibbi and shared by Musk have not been independently verified by The Epoch Times.

In one of his tweets, Taibbi included what appears to be a screenshot of an internal Twitter email dated October 24, 2020, in which an executive from Twitter appears to share a list of five tweets that were allegedly identified by people from the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

By 2020, demands from linked actors to erase tweets were regular," Taibbi noted in a remark. In emails between executives, one may say, "More to examine from the Biden team." If you asked a question, "Handled" would be the response.

When Taibbi tweeted at Musk, he received the response "Handled" and three fire emojis from Musk. He then commented on his own post, asking, "If this isn't a violation of the First Amendment, what is?"

"It 100 % is, conspiracy between govt. and big tech to violate the First Amendment," tweeted the account @hodgetwins, which is run by two conservative comedians in response to Musk's comment.

Musk then retorted, saying that although Twitter's suppression of free speech on its own would not be a violation of the First Amendment, the government's suppression of free speech "with no judicial review" would be.

Free expression, the press, peaceful assembly, and the exercise of one's religion are all guaranteed under the First Amendment.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The Epoch Times has contacted the White House for comment on Musk's claims that Twitter censors speech on government instructions.

In response to Musk's assertion that Twitter's actions amounted to a violation of the First Amendment, other users pointed out that it was then-President Donald Trump, not Biden, who was in office at the time.

Several high-profile Twitter users, including the @MuellerSheWrote account, argued that the investigation should be taken up with the Trump administration since Trump was in office at the time.

Lawyer Jenna Ellis, who represented the 2020 Trump campaign, said that pressure on Twitter personnel from the "Biden team" should be deemed a First Amendment violation even though Biden wasn't in power at the time.

Those comments assuming that Republicans will control all branches of government in 2020 may rest in peace; A tweet of hers read: "Kids, 'government' refers to a system with more than just one department and one office.

Ellis said that Trump's long-held accusations that a large tech business colluded to tilt the 2020 presidential election in his opponent's advantage were validated by the Twitter revelations.

I agree with Trump. Ellis added in a second tweet that this was the "literal foundation" of the litigation Big Tech was facing.

Ellis was referring to the lawsuit Trump filed against social media companies Twitter, Facebook, and Google after they blocked his accounts for his statements after the event at the Capitol on January 6.

To paraphrase Trump's comments at the time: "It's ruining the nation." He was alluding to the supposed dominance of social media in American politics.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter all announced bans on President Trump in early January after he claimed that he had been cheated out of an electoral victory on November 3. They also claimed that his statements had led to violence on January 6.

After Musk took over Twitter, he unbanned a lot of users, including President Trump. The former president hasn't tweeted yet, but he did weigh in on the Twitter Files discoveries through Truth Social.

A Wide Range of Governmental Fraud
According to a post by Trump on Truth Social, the information revealed by Twitter should be taken as evidence that Big Tech attempted to influence the result of the 2020 election.

“Wow! That's a huge deal," Trump stated on Twitter, "about Election Fraud and other types of government fraud."

The former president said, "I am delighted that everyone is finally seeing the light on what I have been stating loudly for the past two years, that the 2020 Presidential Election was rigged and stolen by a combination of Democrats, Big Tech, 'law enforcement,' and other evil actors."

Trump went on to say, "We are living in a VERY CORRUPT COUNTRY," and that "the same degree of Fraud took place with the other Big Tech corporations, if not even worse (if that's possible?)

Inquiry by Congress
The senior Republican on the House Oversight Committee has also said that Twitter employees who were engaged in burying the Hunter Biden laptop scandal in advance of the 2020 presidential elections would be called to appear before Congress.

After Musk tweeted Taibbi's thread revealing some of the inner workings of Twitter's censoring system, the Republican ranking member of the Committee, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky), made the statements in an interview on Fox News on Friday.

According to comments made by Comer to show host Sean Hannity, "any person at Twitter who was engaged in hiding the Hunter Biden laptop story will have a chance to testify before Congress and explain their conduct to the American people."

There has been a long-standing accusation from Republicans that Twitter and other media outlets covered up the Hunter Biden laptop story, which included reporting that lent credence to allegations that the president lied when he said he was not involved in his son's business dealings in foreign countries.

Putting a Danger Sign Next to It
According to Taibbi's remarks on the revelations, Twitter officials designated the Hunter Biden story as "unsafe," restricting its distribution and even banning it from being directly shared through the platform's direct messaging feature.

Child pornography, as mentioned by Taibbi, is subject to the strictest regulations. Taibbi has revealed images of messages between Twitter's communications and policy department officials, which indicate some doubt regarding the steps taken. I don't see the policy justification for flagging this as dangerous.

Twitter's filtering mechanism was accessible to both Democrats and Republicans, as shown by the requests and complaints made to Twitter's personnel. However, Taibbi said, Democrats had more opportunities to make their point on Twitter than Republicans did because of the liberal leaning political beliefs of Twitter's workforce.

"This Is Only The Beginning"
During an interview with Fox News, Comer claimed, "This narrative is only the beginning," and that the company will be bringing "every single individual at Twitter who was engaged in this" before the House Oversight Committee as soon as possible.

Taibbi said in his post that he will be answering queries about "shadow-banning, boosting, follower numbers, the destiny of certain individual accounts, and more."

On Saturday, Musk promised to broadcast a second "episode" of the revelations.

 

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