US government worked with Big Tech to censor social media
The US government worked hand in glove with social media platforms to censor online “misinformation” – such as the factually true Hunter Biden laptop story – The Intercept revealed on Monday, citing internal Department of Homeland Security documents obtained through leaks and public records requests. Moreover, the DHS plans to continue censoring opinions about Covid-19, “racial justice,” and US support for Ukraine going forward.
“Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the US government has used its power to try to shape online discourse,” Lee Fang and Ken Klippenstein write in Monday’s report.
One of their major revelations is that tech companies – including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Discord, Wikipedia, Microsoft and LinkedIn – met with the FBI and other government agencies every month, before and since the 2020 election. Facebook even set up a special portal for “takedowns” that requires a law enforcement email to access.
The process is also outlined in emails between DHS officials, Twitter, and the NGO Center for Internet Security, while meeting notes show that the government called on tech platforms to “process reports and provide timely responses, to include the removal of reported misinformation from the platform where possible.”
Many of the documents surfaced due to the lawsuit by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican currently running for the US Senate. Among them was the revelation that two FBI officials were involved in high-level communications with Facebook to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story: Laura Dehmlow, the section chief of the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF) and Elvis Chan, a special agent in the San Francisco field office.
The factually true story published in October 2020 was denounced as “Russian disinformation” by Democrat Joe Biden and most corporate outlets, and the New York Post was suppressed on both Facebook and Twitter.
Another document from March shows Dehmlow telling Twitter executives that subversive information on social media could undermine support for the US government.