Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has put Big Tech on notice for censoring conservatives, warning “woke” Silicon Valley executives that America will get its free speech back when the Republicans take back the House.
Boebert’s warning comes as evidence is emerging that suggests Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration is directly dictating to Big Tech companies who to censor.
As legal experts have been noting, the government has a constitutional responsibility to protect Americans’ First Amendment rights.
It is illegal for the government to restrict free speech, even if the Biden admin does so through surrogates.
Boebert warns Republicans will investigate and make criminal referrals for these un-American violations.
“We don’t even realize how much we’ve unconsciously self-censored because of Big Tech’s insane censorship policies,” Boebert said.
“When Republicans take back the House, we need to get our free speech back.
“Everyone in the conference better be on board or get out of the way!”
She also took a few swipes at Hollywood and congratulated Fox News star Greg Gutfeld for beating them at their game.
“Greg Gutfeld is crushing them all in ratings,” she said.
“It’s not about late night.
“It’s about woke foolishness.
“None of them have any material other than mocking conservatives.
“Go woke. Go broke.”
I have been notified that my Twitter handle was very much targeted on this list. We’re gathering more info as we determine how best to respond.
The bottom line is this: After the election and especially after J6, engagement on Twitter was decimated. pic.twitter.com/vC9iq69O6n
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) October 1, 2022
Alex Berenson is back on Twitter after being banned for nearly a year over Covid-19 “misinformation.”
Last week the former New York Times reporter settled his lawsuit against the social-media company, which admitted error and restored his account.
“The First Amendment does not apply to private companies like Twitter,” Mr. Berenson wrote last week on Substack.
But because the Biden administration brought pressure to bear on Twitter, he believes he has a case that his constitutional rights were violated. He’s right.
In January 2021 we argued on these pages that tech companies should be treated as state actors under existing legal doctrines when they censor constitutionally protected speech in response to governmental threats and inducements.
The Biden administration appears to have taken our warning calls as a how-to guide for effectuating political censorship through the private sector. And it’s worse than we feared.
Facts that Mr. Berenson unearthed through the discovery process confirm that the administration has been secretly asking social media companies to shut down the accounts of specific prominent critics of administration policy.
On July 16, 2021, a reporter asked President Biden: “On Covid misinformation, what’s your message to platforms like Facebook.”
Mr. Biden replied: “They’re killing people.” (The president later said he meant users were killing people.)
Later that day, Twitter locked Mr. Berenson’s account, and on Aug. 28 it banned him permanently.
Last Friday Mr. Berenson published conversations from an internal Twitter Slack channel.
Referring to an April 2021 meeting with White House officials, one Twitter employee noted that the meeting overall was “pretty good,” but added that the White House “had one really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off from the platform.”
Another employee asked: “Any high-level takeaways from the meeting? Anything we should keep an eye out for?”
The first employee responded: “Yes, they really wanted to know about Alex Berenson.”
The employee wrote that Andy Slavitt, then a senior White House Covid adviser, “suggested they had seen data viz that had showed he was the epicenter of disinfo that radiated outwards to the persuadable public.” (“Viz” probably stands for “visualization” and “disinfo” for “disinformation.”)
Mr. Berenson wasn’t the only target.
At a July 15, 2021, White House press briefing with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, press secretary Jen Psaki said: “We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation. . . . There’s about 12 people who are producing 65% of antivaccine misinformation on social media platforms.”