AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan
In recent weeks, Elon Musk’s release of “The Twitter Files” has taken the internet by storm and further revealed the degree to which Big Tech, the Democrat Party, and the mainstream media conspired to censor the story of the now-infamous Hunter Biden laptop ahead of the 2020 election. But the saga of the “laptop from hell” is only the latest thread in a possibly much larger tale of collusion to influence the outcome of the 2020 election. A New York Post report from earlier this month by James Bovard has attracted substantial media attention and raises even more questions about the extent of the progressive ruling class’s role in our elections.
The “Twitter Files,” Bovard writes, are merely the tip of the iceberg in a “far greater federal conspiracy to censor any American who cast doubts on the mail-in ballots that made Joe Biden the 46th president.” As Bovard notes, a November report published by the Foundation for Freedom Online (FFO) postulates that, starting in early Summer 2020, the Department of Homeland Security allegedly pressured online platforms to “pre-censor” all speech that “cast doubt” on any public perception of illegitimacy surrounding the 2020 election.
“The Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency, created in 2018 as part of the Department of Homeland Security, gave grants to several private entities that formed the Election Integrity Project in mid-2020,” Bovard writes, citing the FFO report. “That project, working closely with the feds, classified 22 million tweets as misinformation and affected ‘hundreds of millions of individual Facebook posts, YouTube videos, TikToks and tweets,’ thanks to what it bragged of as ‘huge regulatory pressure’ from government.”
The FFO report claims that DHS instituted its censorship mechanisms in June 2020, five months before the election (as many of America’s cities were starting to burn in the BLM riots). Citing supposed “misinformation” as an existential threat to American election security, DHS allegedly pressured social media companies into making it virtually impossible to express skepticism of COVID-era voting laws, which permitted mass mail-in ballots and the widespread use of drop boxes, among other unprecedented changes to election rules and norms.
Many of the report’s findings have been further substantiated by the so-called “Twitter Files,” which assert—among other significant findings—that the FBI pressured Twitter to remove a tweet claiming that “Between 2% and 25% of Ballots by Mail are Being Rejected for Errors,” citing it as “election misinformation.” But that tweet was objectively correct – 20 percent of ballots used in a June 2020 New York primary were invalidated. Abnormally large percentages of votes in the Wisconsin, Virginia, and Nevada primary elections were similarly rejected two years ago.
“Yet by Election Day 2020, mail-in ballots had become immaculate,” Bovard quipped. “This Orwellian triumph was due in part to ‘censorship by proxy,’ as law professor Jonathan Turley put it.”
The FFO report Bovard cites goes on to claim that DHS carried out its censorship campaign in coordination with an outside group known as the Election Integrity Partnership, linked to “researchers” at Stanford University and the University of Washington. This ostensibly non-governmental organization was empowered, according to the report, to label offending social media content as “misinformation.”
“[T]o pull off total mass censorship of just one side of the election and still pretend the whole thing was not outrageous, partisan, or stunningly corrupt, [the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP)] and DHS insiders came up with a much bigger trick,” the report states. “See, when EIP talks in presentations and materials about its targets for ‘misinformation,’ they always begin by stating they were going after speech that was ‘fraud.’ And then they mention speech that constitutes ‘procedural interference’ (telling people to vote at the wrong location) and ‘participation interference’ (voter suppression).”
“But this is a trick,” the FFO report continues. “The vast, overwhelming, and statistically virtually the only speech category that EIP really cared about, and really censored systematically, was their fourth category: ‘delegitimization.’ Delegitimization was a brand-new censorship category EIP and DHS came up with, and pressured social media companies to implement, beginning in June 2020.”
The report contends that, as a result of DHS’s alleged censorship campaign, nearly 22 million tweets were labeled as “misinformation” on Twitter, 859 million tweets were collected in EIP databases for “misinformation” analysis, and hundreds of social media posts were “impacted” by “‘misinformation’ Terms of Service policy changes.” These citations, the report states, “are from just the DHS censorship network’s impact on the 2020 election cycle alone.”
The shocking nature of these findings is also partially corroborated by part six of the “Twitter Files,” which outlines other ways that government agencies analyze and flag social media content. Journalist Matt Taibbi finds, for instance, that DHS officials have as recently as 2021 called for even more increased collaboration between law enforcement agencies and “private sector partners.”
If the findings in the FFO report are accurate, it would not be difficult to imagine how DHS and Big Tech may have used the same censorship apparatus to strike down any posts that questioned government endorsed narratives on public health, COVID mitigation strategies, mRNA vaccine safety, climate change, Ukraine, illegal immigration, the gender mutilation of children, and a whole slate of other relevant cultural and political issues.
The claim that a widespread and systematic censorship campaign was staged against dissident political voices is corroborated by a video embedded in the FFO report which shows how DHS partners “openly plotted and bragged” that Big Tech companies took measures they “would never have done without DHS partner insistence” and “‘huge regulatory pressure’ from government.” In other words, if the report’s findings are accurate, DHS conspired with non-governmental groups to strong-arm social media companies into broadening their censorship policies to censor lawful speech they wouldn’t have otherwise censored on their own initiative, a mechanism that has possibly since been used to coerce the same companies into banning a far wider range of topics, content, and ideas that challenge the credibility of the political establishment.
Though not all of the assertions in Bovard’s report have been entirely verified, his revelations are in equal measure distressing and enlightening—and raise pivotal questions worth exploring further regarding the role of federal bureaucrats and Silicon Valley operatives in censoring speech and manipulating information flows to mislead the public and potentially influence the outcome of elections. As momentum continues to build, even more information is sure to be revealed.
The next question will be what conservatives do to dismantle the left’s censorship regime. With a new House majority taking power in January, a new set of policy proposals from former President Donald Trump to curb the authority of Silicon Valley operatives, and budding momentum to rein in the power of Big Tech and entrenched bureaucrats, conservatives have a golden opportunity—if they can seize it.