Feds colluded with Stanford University group to censor Americans' free speech
In yet another mushroom top to the billowing federal censorship scandals, the Department of Homeland Security has been caught partnering with Stanford University's Stanford Internet Observatory to shut down Americans' First Amendment right to free speech, particularly in the 2020 election.
Somebody ought to go to jail for this. But that's not how the swamp deals with these things. Prosecutions, like censorship, are reserved for President Trump.
According to Real Clear Investigations's Ben Weingarten:
The details are very gamy indeed and include playing traffic cop by issuing tickets on speech they didn't like on social media and then having Stanford students -- that's right, quite possibly the same jackasses who shouted down a distinguished federal judge at the law school a few months back -- to censor Americans' Constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech. They justified it with claims of foreign disinformation threats but the fact of the matter was, very little of it was.
According to Weingarten's bullet-point list, here is what the main perpetrator, Stanford Internet Observatory's so-called Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) was actually doing:
The spreadsheets, informed by EIP’s 2020 report and court filings, indicate that:
- About 10% of the tickets bear markings of involvement from federal officials, including at CISA, the FBI, and/or the State Department’s Global Engagement Center through references to government email addresses, offices, or officials. CISA internally kept tabs on the progress of at least 11 EIP tickets, according to discovery material it produced in Missouri v. Biden.
- The number of government-involved tickets grows to more than 25% when one cross-references the EIP data with the lawsuit discovery material. Nearly a quarter of the 400 EIP tickets originated with misinformation reports from the CISA-funded EI-ISAC. Federal officials directly forwarded dozens of these same reports to social media companies for potential moderation. SIO did not respond to RCI’s inquiry as to the number of tickets federal officials weighed in on, and what percentage of those tickets social media companies acted on.
- Almost 60% of all comments associated with tickets are redacted. This may have been to protect the identities of the many Stanford students who participated in the effort. It is unclear if those comments make reference to federal officials.
- Nearly all tickets deal with domestic speech. This is consistent with EIP’s 2020 report noting that less than 1% of tickets pertained to foreign interference.
- Of the 330 tickets in which EIP analysts measured the virality of the offending content, nearly half were less-than-viral, per EIP’s definition of 1,001 or less engagements.
- The word “recommend” or some derivative thereof appears over 100 times in ticket comments, suggesting EIP was not a passive research effort but one aimed at spurring social media companies to censor.
- No right-leaning groups flagged offending content in the ticket sample. By contrast, groups including the Democrat National Committee, Common Cause Education Fund, and the NAACP identified content for potential suppression.
- Conservative influencers and news sources predominate in the tickets, consistent with EIP’s 2020 report. In response to claims of bias, EIP says that “without targeting any specific accounts of politically affiliated content, EIP’s research determined that accounts that supported President Trump’s inaccurate assertions around the election included more false statements than other accounts.”
It was appalling, with many big-name conservatives, such as Mollie Hemingway, editor at the Federalist, targeted.
Here is a separate piece by Weingarten about which kinds of tweets and other posts these leftists hated the most -- election fraud seemingly number one. This is the kind of talk they don't like and will go to extraordinary measures to silence and censor on. No wonder the press and various political characters constantly dismiss the possibility of election irregularities and fraud. It's almost evidence in itself that fraud is real, given the ends they go to to silence any talk of it.
It goes to show that there is a censorship bug going around and a lot of leftists have it. They cloak it in 'defending democracy,' but it's pure newspeak. They don't know what democracy is because without a First Amendment, they don't have any.
It's a massive violation of Americans' Constitutionally protected freedoms. Yes, it's a crime. It needs to put a few of them behind bars for it.
Image: RawPixel // public domain