Executives from Facebook and Twitter, including the recently-fired head of trust & safety Vijaya Gadde, held regular meetings with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to discuss censorship on a wide range of topics, including the withdrawal from Afghanistan, coronavirus, and “racial justice,” according to leaked documents.
The information came to light via leaks to the Intercept, as well as documents and minutes revealed through Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s lawsuit filed against the Biden Administration that alleges government collusion with Big Tech to suppress Americans’ First Amendment rights. Mark Zuckerberg Smiles during testimony (Pool/Getty) According to the material, DHS plans to target alleged misinformation around “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.” The emails and documents show close collaboration b/w DHS & private sector. Twitter's Vijaya Gadde (fired by @elonmusk last week) met monthly with DHS to discuss censorship plans. Microsoft exec texted DHS: "Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov't" pic.twitter.com/Z19yLM3miB — Lee Fang (@lhfang) October 31, 2022 The report also reveals an official process for the government to flag “misinformation” to Facebook. Via the Intercept: There is also a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use. At the time of writing, the “content request system” at facebook.com/xtakedowns/login is still live. DHS and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, did not respond to a request for comment.
The FBI declined to comment. Some of the meetings between social media representatives and the government included Kate Starbird, the leftist professor who leads the “Election Integrity Partnership.” Via the Intercept: In June, the same DHS advisory committee of CISA — which includes Twitter head of legal policy, trust, and safety Vijaya Gadde and University of Washington professor Kate Starbird — drafted a report to the CISA director calling for an expansive role for the agency in shaping the “information ecosystem.” The report called on the agency to closely monitor “social media platforms of all sizes, mainstream media, cable news, hyper partisan media, talk radio and other online resources.” They argued that the agency needed to take steps to halt the “spread of false and misleading information,” with a focus on information that undermines “key democratic institutions, such as the courts, or by other sectors such as the financial system, or public health measures.” FBI agent Laura Dehmlow was in communications w Facebook that led to the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 over the false allegation that it was “disinfo.” This year, she met w/ Twitter/DHS to stress “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable.” pic.twitter.com/17LqhEyMN0 — Lee Fang (@lhfang) October 31, 2022 As Breitbart News previously reported, the EIP provided tools to the federal government and to organs of the Democrat party to censor “misinformation” in the runup to the 2020 election, and targeted various conservative media, including Breitbart News, for censorship. Via Breitbart News: In the runup to the 2020 election, the consortium created a system whereby state actors including the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department could file “tickets” alongside news stories, flagging them so that Big Tech platforms could subsequently suppress or attach warning labels to them. Beyond this blatant case of a private-public censorship coalition, the EIP also engaged in partisan politics, allowing the Democratic National Committee to file tickets through the system, as well as the Democrat-aligned groups Common Cause and the NAACP. News outlets targeted by the EIP included Breitbart News, Fox News, the New York Post, and the Epoch Times, as well as the social media accounts of prominent conservatives Charlie Kirk, Tom Fitton, Jack Posobiec, Mark Levin, James O’Keefe, and Sean Hannity, amongst others In a statement to the Intercept, a Twitter spokesperson said “we do not coordinate with other entities when making content moderation decisions, and we independently evaluate content in line with the Twitter Rules.” Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.
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