Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Elon Musk Asks Adam Schiff If He Approves Of State Censorship In Violation Of The Constitution

jonathanturley |  This week, the media continued to fulfill that common view of a de facto state media by ignoring new evidence of FBI coordination in censorship targets with Twitter in the latest news blackout.

On Friday, Twitter released additional information showing that the FBI and CIA actively pushed for censorship, supplying lists of accounts to be suspended or banned.

Journalist Matt Taibbi described Twitter as acting as a “subsidiary” of the FBI and wrote that “between January 2020 and November 2022, there were over 150 emails between the FBI and former Twitter Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth.

The evidence continues to establish a system of censorship by surrogate or proxy.  While the First Amendment applies to the government and not private corporations generally, it does apply to agents or surrogates of the government. Twitter now admits that such a relationship existed between its former officials and the government.

Once again, however, the major networks and newspapers have largely ignored the story. There has been a full mobilization of media, political, and business interests against Elon Musk and Twitter to oppose the restoration of free speech protections at the company. The media is heavily invested in suppressing this story after years of denials of any problems of censorship. Previously, they denied censorship was occurring. When such censorship became obvious, they denied that there was any involvement of the FBI and the government. Now that such involvement is confirmed, they are simply not covering the story.

Instead, the media is “all-in” on the doxxing suspensions (which Musk has now lifted).  I have been critical of Musk’s response to the doxxing controversy.  In part this is due to the scope of the suspensions and the fact that they occurred only 24 hours after the new policy was implemented. I would have preferred warnings and further clarity on the issue, particularly in what constituted doxxing in some of these tweets from journalists.

Despite the overwhelming coverage, there is little explanation of the media’s approach to the underlying doxxing question. Some have said that this is a “grey area” or may be below the threshold.

For years, the media has supported suspensions due to doxxing. In this case, the location of Musk’s plane may have been used by an individual to threaten his family. Most reports omit any discussion of whether the sending of such live locations information is doxxing. If it is, it has long been banned by most sites and journalists are not exempt.

Previously, figures connected with mainstream media from CNN to the Washington Post have been accused of doxxing. Liberal groups were accused of doxxing conservative justices and others, including dangerously posting information on the children of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. It does not seem to matter when the targets are conservative, Republican, or libertarian.

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