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Have you noticed how quiet the activist media has been about the revelations brought to light by the Twitter Files? If you’re like most on the right, you’re probably not surprised. But with emerging information regarding the government collaborating with Twitter to suppress dissenting views on everything from the 2020 election to the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be sensible to expect that organizations claiming to champion free speech would be aghast at the state’s intrusion into the world of Big Tech.
Yet, if you listen closely, you will hear nothing but a rousing chorus of crickets playing a silent symphony from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and others. Indeed, they seem to have responded to this whole affair by placing their pointer fingers into their ears and shouting, “la la la we can’t hear you!”
The screeching silence coming from these groups has not gone unnoticed, especially by journalist Matt Taibbi, one of the reporters who has been tasked with disseminating the Twitter Files. During an appearance with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Taibbi, one of the few remaining actual journalists, lamented the fact that none of these organizations have bothered to raise a fuss about the matter, noting that these folks seem to be “thinking about this in partisan terms.”
Carlson addressed the issue: “[T]here are a lot of different nonprofit organizations that purport to defend free speech on behalf of journalists…have any of them weighed in on this and raised holy hell?”
“No. And that’s been a profound disappointment. For me personally, I gave to the ACLU for years. I’m one of those sort of dyed-in-the-wool liberals and grew up that way. I’m deeply disappointed. I think a lot of people who are sort of politically on that side of the aisle are missing the boat on this. They don’t understand the gravity of the situation. They’re thinking about this in partisan terms. It’s not a partisan story. This is a story about the architecture of the intelligence community and law enforcement getting its hands on speech and on the ability of people to communicate with one another through platforms like Twitter and Facebook. And they’re doing this in a very profound way, much more serious than I thought at the beginning of this story.”
“How can it be a free society when intel agencies are determining what we can say?"
Tucker Carlson speaks to Matt Taibbi about the latest Twitter Files revelations. pic.twitter.com/hkOS5g4VVl
— Buddy Broussard (@buddy_broussard) January 5, 2023
The interview came only days after the latest episode of the Twitter Files, in which Taibbi revealed how the White House, under Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden, pressured the company and other Big Tech firms to target accounts and posts that contradicted the approved narrative regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. He explained how the Global Engagement Center (GEC), an arm of the Department of State, joined the FBI in colluding with Twitter to suppress certain types of content.
“The GEC was gunning to flag any accounts that referred to lab leaks or suspicions about the CIA as Russian disinformation. The Twitter files indicate it was clear the State Department was looking to pressure social media into shaping the COVID message even from the beginning days,” according to RedState’s Kira Davis.
As much as I respect Matt Taibbi, I have to disagree with his contention that this is not a “partisan story.” Of course, it should not be partisan or political, but the fact of the matter is that this is very much the case.
In the past, the fact that the government is working with tech companies to tamp down on viewpoints that contradict its preferred narrative would certainly not be as partisan as it is today. Folks on both sides of the political divide would view it as a gross overreach of power. For example, both conservatives and progressives were outraged when whistleblower Edward Snowden informed the nation that the National Security Agency was spying on American citizens without cause.
However, in this current political climate, the harsh reality is that too many on the far left are firmly on board with the government working to control what the public sees–as long as it works in favor of their team. They see no problem with the government and Twitter suppressing opinions, arguments, and information about the pandemic and the 2020 election, that contradicts the narrative they want the public to believe. These people justify this flagrant abuse of our First Amendment rights under the guise of attacking “misinformation”–in an effort to safeguard elections and those who might be vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Of course, if this censorship went the other way, you can be sure they would be up in arms. Their politicians would shout “harumph” at the thought of Twitter and other social media companies throttling accounts that expressed left-wing views, which proves even further that this issue is, indeed, partisan.
This reality could portend a troubling future for the country, especially for those who value liberty and bristle at the thought of the state controlling speech. When people are only concerned when the government targets their team, it will inevitably lead to the state growing even more powerful, as long as it works in the best interests of the team supporting it. It is not difficult to imagine the slippery slope that could be borne of such a trend. But perhaps the Twitter Files might become the wake-up call people need to get them to stave off such an eventuality. One can only hope, right?