The First Amendment guarantees our right to free speech. The government cannot prohibit or take away our speech, according to the Constitution.
But is that always the case?
Republican Congressman Thomas Massie recently noted that a government-funded group used Americans’ tax dollars to censor conservatives.
“I would say this amounts to an illegal unreported campaign contribution to the Democrat party, but it’s actually much worse,” Massie wrote. “This group used TAXPAYER dollars to silence conservatives. What’s more, they targeted my official congressional twitter account for censorship.”
I would say this amounts to an illegal unreported campaign contribution to the Democrat party, but it’s actually much worse. This group used TAXPAYER dollars to silence conservatives. What’s more, they targeted my official congressional twitter account for censorship. https://t.co/o2tIWouYTT
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) November 16, 2023
‘A Far Greater Threat to Our Representative Democracy Than Any Foreign Nation’
Reporters Michael Shellenberger and Alex Gutentag reported on Substack:
The US government-funded Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) claims that its 2020 Election Integrity Project (EIP) and its 2021 Virality Project (VP) were “non-partisan research coalitions.” They did not discriminate against Republicans or conservatives, SIO insists.
But a new tranche of SIO files requested by the House Homeland Security Committee Chairman, Mark Green (R-TN), and Homeland Security Subcommittee for Oversight Chairman Dan Bishop (R-SC) reveal that SIO singled out Republicans for censorship, even though Democrats engaged in similar kinds of inaccurate or misleading speech.
One member of Congress singled out for censorship was alarmed to learn of the pattern. “In striving to silence duly elected Congressmen and prevent them from communicating with constituents,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) told Public, “this government-funded censorship network has shown itself to be a far greater threat to our representative democracy than any foreign nation.”
This “government-funded” censorship is a serious threat, one that the political establishment has seemed increasingly comfortable with as revealed by the Twitter Files. Published later last year, the Twitter Files was a series of reports written by independent journalists, including Shellenberger, that demonstrated how the the US government pressured and compelled social media companies to regulate and censor news and speech according to government dictates.
The files were only released due to entrepreneur Elon Musk purchasing Twitter and moving the company back towards free speech, rather than the increasing censorship he was seeing.
The Stanford group apparently thought censoring Republicans for claiming election fraud was justifiable but Democrats who claimed the same thing were off limits.
No matter what excuses you hear from @realDonaldTrump or @senatemajldr, voter fraud is a lie they’ve peddled for years. The truth: the GOP wins by impeding eligible citizens from voting.
It’s not paranoia when it takes a court order to make it stop: https://t.co/LWXrIkm1Pz
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) May 18, 2020
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Censor Republicans, But Not Democrats
The Substack report continued:
Defenders of the censorship advocacy by Stanford sometimes argue that only Republicans made false statements about the elections. SIO has said that Republicans and Trump supporters simply spread more falsehoods. “EIP’s research determined that accounts that supported President Trump’s inaccurate assertions around the election included more false statements than other accounts,” wrote SIO.
But many Democrats, including Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams, have claimed, without evidence, that Republicans have stolen elections. For example, in May 2020, Abrams wrote on Twitter that “the GOP wins by impeding eligible citizens from voting.”
But where Twitter executives throttled Greene’s tweet, which cannot be shared, Abrams’ tweet has over 1,200 retweets.
Using our tax dollars to censor Americans’ speech – whether it’s true, untrue, ‘misinformation’ or otherwise – is a direct violation of our Constitution.
That the government now sees fit to only censor one political party is not only an insult, but a grave threat, to everything America has ever stood for.
Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
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