One of the bedrock’s of the U.S. Constitution is freedom of speech no matter what side of the political arenas any American stands, and this week, the U.S. Federal Government has proven to have violated any ethics of preserving that cornerstone. Its own documents, in partnership with universities and tech companies stand as irrefutable evidence.
The U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee and Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released their interim staff report on Nov. 6.
The report is entitled “The Weaponization of “Disinformation” Pseudo-Experts and Bureaucrats: How the Federal Government Partnered with Universities to Censor Americans’ Political Speech.”
The report’s findings shows how the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Global Engagement Center (GEC), State Department) coordinated directly with Stanford University and other entities to create the Election Integrity Partnership to censor Americans’ speech in the lead-up to the 2020 election.
The Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) was created in the summer of 2020 to provide a way for the federal government to launder its censorship activities in hopes of bypassing both the First Amendment and public scrutiny.
“External stakeholders,” including federal agencies and organizations funded by the federal government, submitted misinformation reports directly to the EIP.
The EIP’s so-called “analysts” then scoured the internet for additional examples of similar content for censorship. The EIP sent the most significant ones directly to Big Tech with specific recommendations on how social media platforms should censor the posts.
In the body of this 100-plus page report, it is revealed for the first time internal emails from EIP members stating that EIP was created “at the request of DHS/CISA.”
Documents obtained by the committee demonstrate that CISA had access to the inner workings of the EIP, including incoming misinformation reports.
What is alarming about this report is not just that these violations of free speech were so broadly orchestrated, but the report includes emails. There is not a whiff of anyone involved questioning the overall lack of ethics on this operation for political reasons.
However wrapped in the veil of misinformation and disinformation justification they comported themselves, the parties involved display, in their own words in their communications, a timbre of self-righteousness and a level of arrogance that goes beyond the pale of decency.
Their writings exemplify where we are as a nation for those whose Machiavellian justifications soar - "the end justifies the means."
For the first time, Secret “Jira Tickets” were turned over to the committee. The report discloses hundreds of the nonpublic “misinformation” reports from the EIP’s centralized reporting system. These are labelled “Jira tickets.”
During the EIP’s operation, the Jira ticketing system was accessible only to select parties, including federal agencies, universities, and Big Tech.
The EIP specifically targeted Americans across the political spectrum, but especially conservatives.
The report specifically lists the following individuals as targets:
“President Donald J. Trump
Senator Thom Tillis
Speaker Newt Gingrich
Governor Mike Huckabee
Congressman Thomas Massie
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene
The Babylon Bee
An untold number of everyday Americans of all political affiliations.”
The EIP targeted true information, jokes, and political opinions.
According to the report, Stanford University, which exercised these massive censorship and violation of freedom of speech, in partnership with the U.S. federal government, initially refused to produce the Jira tickets even though they were subpoenaed.
“Facing contempt, Stanford relented and produced Jira tickets containing thousands of links the EIP collected for censorship,” states the report.
Below is an excerpt from the report, which are a few examples to illustrate how explicitly the EIP instructed social media companies to take action:
Ticket # Entry
EIP-345 “The article is being shared on Facebook, and while it has been labeled when shared in a group, official Page shares did not receive such a label . . . We recommend labeling all instances of the article being shared on Facebook.”
EIP-378 “This has circulated in pro-Trump conservative groups and sub-communities . . . We recommend that you all flag as false, or remove the posts below.”
EIP-396 “Hi Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter . . . we recommend it be removed from your platforms.”
EIP-407 “Hi Twitter team – please see the ticket above, which we’d recommend be labeled with information pertaining to mail-in voting.”
EIP-421 “We recommend that posts like these be labeled if they are alleging fraud, and that further action may be appropriate if this post actually documents fraud.”
EIP-460 “Huckabee has not said whether the tweet was a joke or not . . . We recommend that Twitter labels the post with (a) proper voting information.”
EIP-461 “Given the large audiences and Pennsylvania’s swing state status, we’d recommend this content be actioned.”
EIP-581 “We recommend you label or reduce the discoverability of the post.”
EIP-638 “We recommend labeling his [sic] tweets and monitoring if any of the tagged influencer accounts retweet him.”
EIP-656 “@SeanHannity is sharing a partial statement by Rep. Ilhan Omar . . . we recommend Twitter adds a label to Tweets sharing the link to the article.”
EIP-668 “We repeat our recommendation that this account be suspended for the duration of election day from posting additional misleading information about voting.”
EIP-673 “We recommend that this tweet, and other tweets sharing this false information, should be removed.”; “We recommend taking action specifically on this account, such as suspending their ability to continue tweeting for 12 hours.”
EIP-680 “We recommend that this tweet, as well as the tweets with the original video should be removed or labeled as misleading.”
EIP-1020 “[W]e recommend links to its content be labeled or removed.”
The full report can be read here.
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