Unfortunately, I have some bad news to share with you that is sending shockwaves through the United States right now. This is the biggest corruption story of our lives. Social media companies are being pressured to crack down on speech the government deems disinformation under the guise of counterterrorism according to newly leaked documents
An investigation by The Intercept reveals that the Department of Homeland Security is steadily stepping up efforts to curtail dangerous speech. A massive effort by DHS to influence tech platforms has been demonstrated through internal memos, emails, and documents obtained via leaks and a lawsuit, as well as public documents.
U.S. government officials have used their power to shape online discourse behind closed doors and through private platforms. In meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican running for Senate, topics discussed ranged from the extent and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information.
Among other things, DHS plans to target “inaccurate information” on a variety of topics, including “the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak, the efficacy of the vaccine, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine,” according to a draft copy of the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, DHS’s capstone report outlining the department’s strategy and priorities for the next decade.
Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Discord, Wikipedia, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Verizon Media met with the FBI, CISA, and other government representatives on a monthly basis prior to the 2020 election.
The meetings NBC News reported were part of a private sector-government initiative to discuss how firms would handle misinformation during the election, which is still ongoing.
During the period leading up to November 2020, DHS officials, Twitter, and the Center for Internet Security exchanged emails about such takedown requests. According to meeting notes, tech platforms would be expected to “process reports and respond promptly, including removing reported misinformation where possible from the platform.” In practice, state election officials sent examples of potential forms of disinformation to CISA, which forwarded them on to social media companies for response.
According to the Daily Caller, Government efforts to police tech companies go on, with just one example including a Facebook portal only accessible by government and law enforcement representatives to formally request the platform kill or label alleged misinformation.
A leaked set of slides contains instructions on how to operate the system, which was still active at the time of publication.
The bombshell report outlining the collusion between government and social media companies is a clear violation of the First Amendment. The leaked documents from DHS show their frightening plan to combat “disinformation” on a wide range of topics, giving them control over what information can be disseminated on social media platforms. It’s not the government’s place to police speech in this way and it’s up to us as citizens to expose this corruption. We cannot allow our right to free speech to be compromised in such a chilling manner. The stakes are too high and it’s time for this corruption to be brought to light. It’s time for those entrusted with protecting our rights to be held accountable. Our democracy depends on it.