The House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released an interim report titled, “The Weaponization of ‘Disinformation’ Pseudo-experts and Bureaucrats: How the Federal Government Partnered with Universities to Censor Americans’ Free Speech.”
The report details how the federal government partnered with Stanford University and other groups to create the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) to censor speech leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
“The First Amendment to the Constitution rightly limits the government’s role in monitoring and censoring Americans’ speech, but these disinformation researchers (often funded, at least in part, by taxpayer dollars) were not strictly bound by these constitutional guardrails,” reads a summary of the report. “What the federal government could not do directly, it effectively outsourced to the newly emerging censorship-industrial complex.”
EIP is described as a “consortium of ‘disinformation’ academics led by Stanford University’s Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) that worked directly with the Department of Homeland Security and the Global Engagement Center, a multi-agency entity housed within the State Department, to monitor and censor Americans’ online speech in advance of the 2020 presidential election.”
“As this new information reveals, and this report outlines, the federal government and universities pressured social media companies to censor true information, jokes, and political opinions,” the summary adds. “This pressure was largely directed in a way that benefitted one side of the political aisle: true information posted by Republicans and conservatives was labeled as “misinformation” while false information posted by Democrats and liberals was largely unreported and untouched by the censors.”
Government agencies justified their censorship activities by claiming that foreign entities were “attempting to undermine American elections,” according to the report.
“While foreign states do attempt to conduct influence operations, the Committee’s and Select Subcommittee’s investigation has revealed that the true focus and purpose of the censors’ ‘election integrity’ work was to target the very Americans they claim to protect. Instead of targeting foreign or inauthentic accounts, the EIP targeted Americans, disproportionately candidates and commentators with conservative viewpoints,” the House Judiciary Committee explained.
Some of the targeted accounts included:
- President Donald J. Trump
- Senator Thom Tillis
- Speaker Newt Gingrich
- Governor Mike Huckabee
- Congressman Thomas Massie
- Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene
- The Babylon Bee
- Charlie Kirk
- Candace Owens
- Tom Fitton
- Jack Posobeic
- Benny Johnson
- Dave Rubin
“An untold number of everyday Americans of all political affiliations” were also censored.
Stanford University initially refused to cooperate with The House Judiciary Committee, but released the reports after being threatened with contempt of Congress.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) shared part of the report on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“The federal government, disinformation ‘experts’ at universities, Big Tech, and others worked together through the Election Integrity Partnership to monitor & censor Americans’ speech,” Jordan tweeted.
“Here’s how it worked:
“-EIP ‘stakeholders’ (including the federal gov’t) would submit misinformation reports
“-EIP would ‘analyze’ the report and find similar content across platforms
“-EIP would submit the report to Big Tech, often with a recommendation on how to censor”
American Faith reported that a recent judgement found that the Biden administration also violated the First Amendment in COVID-19 social media censorship.
A panel of two judges stated that entities such as President Biden, the CDC, FBI, and the surgeon general should not exert undue influence or “coerce” social media entities into removing content they find objectionable.
The ruling conveyed that the administration “coerced the platforms to make their moderation decisions by way of intimidating messages and threats of adverse consequences” and had “significantly encouraged the platforms’ decisions by commandeering their decision-making processes, both in violation of the First Amendment.”