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OPINION

Twitter Files Show Americans Are Living in Soviet-Style Society

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

After taking over Twitter, Elon Musk has embarked on a campaign to toss the skeletons from Twitter’s secret closets into the sunshine. We knew Twitter was a tech tyrant, censoring conservative views and users, but until now, the depth of the issue has never been publicly exposed, complete with, what appears to be, solid proof and source documents.

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Early document dumps of the “Twitter Files” exposed, in detail, Twitter’s relentless campaigns to silence and hide conservative voices, including that of a sitting United States president.

The Twitter Files expose behavior and illicit collaboration with the federal government to censor Americans. It reveals a far-too-cozy relationship between Twitter and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other departments within the Homeland Security behemoth.

Consider the summary of the FBI-Twitter relationship as it has been presented in the Twitter Files.

The FBI task force that focused on social media (80+ agents) primarily corresponded with Twitter, often directly with Twitter’s former Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth.

The FBI routinely searched, identified, and requested moderation of content by Twitter. More specifically, the FBI sent lists of Twitter users suspected of “violating Twitter’s terms of service” through alleged “misinformation” or what would more commonly called “any information that did not conform with the government’s agenda.” Twitter employees frequently canceled and suspended accounts referred by the FBI. Many of said accounts were clearly satirical and low reach. It makes you wonder how much effort federal law enforcement is expending policing inane online conversation and jokes. Your tax dollars at work.

Cozy indeed. In one email, the FBI emphasized that they had no barriers “to share classified information or other relevant information with industry” (Twitter). The question is, “To what end?” It appears that it was intended to censor Americans in violation of the First Amendment and to alter the outcome of an election.

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After the New York Post broke the story about Hunter Biden’s business dealings, allegedly selling access to the White House, the federal government colluded with big tech to suppress the story. It has been revealed that on September 13, 2020, FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan sent ten documents to Twitter’s Yoel Roth. The next day, the New York Post story broke. Within hours, Twitter and social media companies began censoring the story — preventing its spread on social media platforms. In the years leading to this story, the FBI primed Twitter, through Yoel Roth, that they expected “hack and leak” attacks aimed to influence the election. They specifically mentioned an anticipated “hack and leak” attack involving Hunter Biden.

The FBI and intelligence community (IC) continued to push Twitter for more assistance in surveilling users of the social media platform, surprisingly to the point of Twitter executives pushing back. From an internal company email to Yoel Roth from the Director of Policy and Philanthropy, United States and Canada: “We have seen a sustained (if uncoordinated) effort by the IC to push us to share more information and change our API policies. They are probing and pushing everywhere they can…” The IC wanted open access to the entire Twitter data feed, which Twitter was reluctant to share.

According to released information, in July 2020, Special Agent Chan suggested granting temporary security clearances to Twitter executives so they could share information leading up to the election.

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Enter Jim Baker, former FBI General Counsel. He played a central role within the FBI, making the case for the investigation of Donald Trump. In fact, quite a few former FBI personnel joined Twitter — so many they had a private slack channel amongst themselves.

The campaign to prime the pump to have Twitter and other social media companies help protect the Biden family continued with an Aspen Institute tabletop exercise in September 2020. Attended by key news and social media figures, the group worked on emerging news regarding Hunter Biden, Burisma and even China. In short, it was an exercise where a small group of intelligence community, media and social media figures colluded to suppress an explosive emerging story (since proven to be accurate) from the American people.

After the New York Post Hunter Biden story broke on October 14, even Twitter’s Yoel Roth seemed skeptical of killing the news using Twitter’s policies: “At this time, given the alleged provenance of the materials (a laptop mysteriously dropped off at a repair shop in Delaware), isn’t clearly violative of our Hacked Materials Policy, nor is it clearly in violation of anything else.”

Re-enter former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker, now with Twitter, who repeatedly suggests the Hunter Biden information is faked, even though the New York Post story includes the receipt signed by Hunter Biden and FBI documentation showing it had taken possession of the laptop. Soon, Twitter was all-in to suppress the story.

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While all this was going on, the FBI paid (technically reimbursed) Twitter for expenses related to the investigation and legal matters. From one of Jim Baker’s Twitter associates, “I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!”

Shocking. To summarize, we have the FBI and intelligence community, along with CENTCOM, befriending and partnering with Twitter executives in a “patriotic” initiative to protect American “election integrity” through suppression, censorship, and amplification campaigns of hand-picked messaging. And they were paid for their role in misleading not only the American people but those in other countries around the world.

If all that has been reported is true, this is a massive First Amendment violation. The government used and pressured private industry in a coordinated campaign to control public discourse, suppress free speech, and alter the course of an election. It is a ridiculous assertion, made even by some on the right, that this is not a violation of the First Amendment because Twitter is not part of the government. This is government sponsored, government coordinated, and government led. The FBI was embedded into Twitter. Where else do you think they are embedded?

The Twitter Files reveal shocking information that require investigation by courageous leaders, if we have any left. If the federal government is utilizing private industry to censor political speech, is it not the equivalent of state-run media? Should American social media companies be the equivalent of the Soviet Union’s communist propaganda paper Pravda?

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If this is unchecked, we have become content to live in a Soviet-style society where rights are an illusion, and the Constitution means absolutely nothing. At the American Constitutional Rights Union, our motto is Live Free. As Daniel Webster said, “God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.” We invite you to join us in guarding and defending the Constitution and in calling on our so-called leaders to do the same.

The complete details of the story are available, along with source documents, on Twitter. Just search for the #TwitterFiles hashtag. If you find this alarming, please ask your representative in Congress if they have the guts to do something about it.

Editor's Note: This column was originally published under the incorrect author. Townhall regrets the error. 

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