‘Twitter Files’ hearings reveal government censorship and militarization – Thelocalreport.in

The House panel examining the “weapons” of the federal government, reported in “Twitter Files,” got off to a fierce start Thursday when the Republican-led hearing began with a series of sniping attacks between Rep. Jim Jordan and ranked member, Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D Virgin Islands).

Elon Musk gave witnesses, including Substack journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, access to review “voluminous” volumes of internal Twitter communications about possible working relationships between social media companies and government agencies.

In his opening statement, Taibbi told the panel that he attracted a lot of public interest when the first reports of “Twitter Files” surfaced.

“My computer looked like a slot machine because the first ever tweet about the Hunter Biden laptop crash logged 143 million impressions and 30 million interactions.”

Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, speaks at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, February 9, 2023, in Washington.

Twitter has been accused of having a cozy relationship with government agencies.

Taibbi caught the attention of millions of viewers with the first episode focusing on internal Twitter discussions that led them to censor Hunter Biden’s laptop during the 2020 presidential election, as some officials tried to explain that he was against politics. of “pirated material”.

“We learned that Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other companies have developed a formal system to moderately accept ‘requests’ from all corners of government: the FBI, DHS, HHS, DOD, the Center for Global State Engagement, even the CIA. .’

Taibbi wrote: “Making such lists is undeniably a form of digital McCarthyism.”

“We just saw this with the Covid lab error theory. Many of the institutions we are examining now initially labeled the idea that Covid came from a laboratory as “disinformation” and a conspiracy theory. Apparently even the FBI is taking it seriously. ‘

“The First Amendment, and an American population accustomed to the right to speak, is the best defense against the Censorship-Industrial Complex,” he wrote.

“If there is one thing the Twitter archives show, it is that we are in danger of losing this most precious right, without which all other democratic rights are impossible.”

Michael Shellenberger’s testimony warned that “the industrial censorship complex” will have a dangerous impact on the First Amendment.

I’ll give you some warnings. I don’t know how much of the censorship is coordinated beyond what we’ve been able to document, and I won’t speculate. And I support the right of governments to communicate with the public, including to challenge inaccurate and misleading information. But government officials have been caught repeatedly lobbying social media platforms to censor users and unfavorable content.”

“The government no longer needs the terrorist or extremist designation to use government resources to counter your political activities. The only predicate you need is simply the assertion that the opinion you expressed on social media is wrong.”

This story will be updated.

Freelance journalist Matt Taibbi testifies before House committee on ‘Twitter files’

President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden leave Holy Spirit Catholic Church on Johns Island, South Carolina. House Republicans first requested documents from Hunter and James Biden related to foreign business transactions.

Hunter Biden’s laptop left in a computer repair shop: Its contents are up for debate, but almost everyone agrees it was devastating

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