by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
What’s interesting is that there is really a loss of space in the last few weeks for many of the censorship apologists that are in Congress and the media. For years, they denied there was any censorship, that there was any shadowbanning, there was any blacklist. All of that was just formally denied.
Because of Musk, we now know that all of that were lies. That, in fact, there was an extensive censorship system that was being directed in part by the FBI.
So, one of the questions that we have is whether Twitter became an agent of the FBI for purposes of the First Amendment. The First Amendment applies to the government, obviously, but it can also apply to agents of the government, people who are acting on the government’s behest. You now have the company itself saying, “Yeah, we did become an agent of the FBI. We were being directed by the FBI.”
And that makes things tougher for people who have really struggled to tell the public there is nothing to see here.
One of the things that is most disturbing, quite frankly, is that, when these files came out, the FBI attacked many of us who were raising free speech concerns and called all of us collectively “conspiracy theorists spreading disinformation.” It was highly inappropriate, because the FBI has said that combatting disinformation is one of its priorities. So, it is a very menacing thing when you have the largest law enforcement agency attacking free speech advocates. …
… 50 years ago when Watergate began, there was a bipartisan call for an investigation into the FBi and other agencies and their engagement in domestic politics. Eventually, there were also investigations into the CIA and foreign intelligence agencies, as part of what as called the Church Committee. Those investigations reformed all of these agencies, so what concerns me is there was this cacophany of voices back then, Republicans, Democrats, and most certainly the media, demanding these investigations. That cacophony has been replaced with crickets.