Recently released internal communications from Twitter showed that political officials and organizations, predominately Democratic, were secretly and routinely in contact with the platform’s top executives and staffers to demand censorious action against accounts and posts that they didn’t like or agree with.
Included among those, it has now been revealed, was the office of Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the declared governor-elect of the state, who in 2021 flagged and called for the removal of tweets that allegedly contained “election related misinformation,” the Conservative Brief reported.
The revelation followed close behind last week’s exposé by way of a Twitter thread from independent journalist Matt Taibbi about how Twitter censored under false pretenses the bombshell stories from the New York Post on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop in the final weeks before the 2020 election.
Twitter removed tweets at Hobbs’ request
An email thread that originated in Sec. Hobbs office on Jan. 7, 2021, was shared on Twitter over the weekend by Christina Bobb, an attorney and One America News host, that appeared to show collusion between government actors and the social media platform to censor and silence certain accounts, the Daily Wire reported.
In light of other controversies surrounding this year’s disputed gubernatorial election in Arizona, in which Hobbs oversaw her own contest, Bobb took note of how concerning this particular revelation was in terms of the appearance of partisan collusion for censorship of political opponents.
Unreal! Katie Hobbs’s office contacts Twitter to have posts removed! So, the democrat candidate, who ran the AZ election, censored her political opponents, disrupted Election Day votes, and then threatened counties with prosecution if they didn’t declare her the winner. pic.twitter.com/TWIgHHPqkd
— Christina Bobb (@christina_bobb) December 4, 2022
The initial message about “flagging” a particular account for “review” came from the secretary’s communications director and was sent to an unknown recipient at the Center for Internet Security, a nonprofit organization involved in cybersecurity, which passed the message along to an unknown recipient at Twitter for their consideration.
Someone from Twitter then replied that “We will escalate” and a subsequent message, which was CC’d to the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department of Homeland Security, stated that “Both tweets have been removed from the service.”
Possible violation of First Amendment
It has long been suspected by many conservatives and independents that left-leaning executives and staffers at Twitter, as well as other major social media platforms, acted in a biased and unfair manner to silence and suppress accounts that dissented from the preferred mainstream narratives of the left.
To be sure, Twitter was and is a private company that can choose to moderate content as it best sees fit, so long as it is acting of its own accord. If, however, any censorious action was taken at the behest of government officials, that would likely constitute a violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment protections for free speech.
New Twitter owner Elon Musk said as much in a tweet Friday when he wrote, “Twitter acting by itself to suppress free speech is not a 1st amendment violation, but acting under orders from the government to suppress free speech, with no judicial review, is.”
That post was shared by Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, who added, “Release the names of government officials. Investigations are coming.”
Investigations and lawsuits
The Conservative Brief noted that House Republicans have already announced their intent to investigate the alleged collusion and coordination between Twitter and political actors with regard to the censorship of the New York Post’s stories about Hunter Biden and his dubious foreign business dealings, as revealed by the contents of his abandoned laptop.
Meanwhile, the Republican attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana are leading a revelatory lawsuit that seeks to fully expose similar collusion for censorship between government officials and social media platforms on the topics of COVID-19 and elections, among other things.