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Fact-checkers complain they’re constantly hit with lawsuits

By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | September 20, 2022

Online fact checkers have great authority over what speech gets suppressed on mainstream social media platforms and a fact-check of a post on Facebook can result in that post being suppressed by as much as 95%.

Yet, despite their great power over what people can say, fact checkers are also increasingly frustrated at calls for more transparency about the way they operate and say they are being bombarded with freedom of information act (FOIA) requests and lawsuits.

The fact checkers say these requests and lawsuits are meant to drain the resources of climate change researchers and to discourage them from doing their work which is, in turn, an attempt to shut down their own speech.

“They make a point of going after the fact-checkers because, in addition to stopping regulation, they also want to prevent or discourage climate scientists from doing things that might educate the public,” said Lauren Kurtz, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund’s executive director to Bloomberg.

Kurtz’s organization provides climate researchers with legal assistance. They assist about 40 researchers annually. But this year has been busier, as they have already assisted 35 people.

One of the beneficiaries of the fund is Doug MacMartin, who was sued by Dane Wigington after he fact-checked his documentary “The Dimming,” which, according to MacMartin, is filled with conspiracy theories.

On the science fact-checking website Climate Feedback, used by social media companies to flag what it sees as science misinformation, MacMartin described Wigington’s documentary as “pure fantasy.” The plaintiff sought $75,000 in damages from MacMartin, arguing that the fact-check reduced the visibility of his documentary on Facebook, hurting its revenue.

“I mostly felt disbelief,” MacMartin recalled to Bloomberg. “A bit of shock combined with, ‘I just don’t have time for this.’”

Earlier this month, a federal court dismissed Wigngton’s lawsuit, but he plans to appeal.

Daniel Swain, a climate researcher at University of California, Los Angeles, had to deal with a FOIA request filed by a group called Energy Policy Advocates. Swain is vocal about droughts and fires in Western US. The requests sought text messages, encrypted messages, and emails related to a fact-check written by Swain and others about the book “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters,” by Steven Koonin, who worked in the Department of Energy during Obama’s era.

Swain challenged the requests using a university lawyer, arguing that it had the “presumptive intent of disrupting primary research and outreach activities by inundating climate scientists.” The records department said that the motivations of the requester were irrelevant, but was bound by law to provide the information requested.

“I spend nights and weekends compiling and going through thousands and thousands of emails because these requests are extremely broad,” he said. “In some cases they’re essentially open ended: they’re asking about multiple years, multiple keywords and multiple platforms.”

The group filing most of the requests are Government Accountability and Oversight, and Energy Policy Advocates. The two groups go by the acronyms GAO and EPA, the same acronyms used by federal agencies Government Accountability Office and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Climate Feedback and Meta are facing a $2 million lawsuit filed by Libertarian commentator John Stossel who was censored on Facebook as a direct result of a post by the fact-checker.

Climate Feedback flagged Stossel’s video “Government Fueled Fires” about the wildfires in California in 2020. The fact-check resulted in Facebook limiting the visibility of the video and we have more information on that case here.

September 25, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

I just received a 30 day Facebook ban for this bit of satire

By Toby Rogers | September 18, 2022

Position switching” is the basis of empathy. So I’ve been trying to put myself in the shoes of our adversaries to understand their world view. But the more I do this, the more alarmed I become. The mainstream position on the pandemic and vaccines is literally insane.

So this morning I got up and tried to jot down The Official Narrative — from the perspective of the people who believe it. The more I wrote, the more absurd and untenable it became. I posted it to Facebook and was promptly banned for 30 days for “violating community standards.” Again.

I’m not sure what part the Stasi objected to. I did not use the word vaccine. I said that Pharma Loves Us(TM). Apparently the Stasi are feeling raw and triggered because they are always wrong about everything and their friends now all have myocarditis.

Here’s the offending post:


The Narrative(TM)

I want to make sure that I understand The Narrative(TM) correctly so that I can remain a Respectable Citizen(TM) in Good Standing(TM) with mainstream society:

1. The pharmaceutical industry is all-knowing. They are the source of all that is good and true in the world including life itself. The pharmaceutical industry is infallible.

2. The fact that all of the major pharmaceutical companies are in fact felons is unimportant. What? Did that even happen? I don’t know. Why are we even talking about this? What matters now is injecting as many of their products as possible.

3. The 30,935 reports of death after the thing are A Coincidence(TM). The HHS report showing that this system undercounts harms by a factor of 100 is… What? I never heard of that. I think I saw a warning label about that on social media. Pharma and the government Love You(TM) and Would Never Hurt You(TM). One. That’s how many people died after the thing. And that’s less than 1 in a million. Because.

4. The fact that Jeffrey Sachs, head of the Lancet Commission on the origins of Covid, after reviewing all of the available evidence, has come to the conclusion that SARS-CoV-2 came from a U.S. bioweapons lab is what? Why does anyone care where it came from? Everyone knows that the strange eating habits of the Chinese people are to blame. Nature: dangerous. Chinese peasants: guilty. Bioweapons labs: do they even exist? We need an international treaty to protect the pangolins or the bats or frozen food or whatever.

5. The first four xhots saved 20 million lives even though they have negative efficacy, fuel the evolution of variants, and cause antibody dependent enhancement that leaves one more vulnerable to infection. Miracles are like that — contradictory, paradoxical, and nonsensical. The important thing is just to believe.

6. Tony Fauci is perhaps the greatest American who ever lived — a cross between Jesus, the Buddha, and Einstein. The fact that he killed over 6 million people by funding gain-of-function research just proves his heroism.

7. During the AIDS epidemic, Fauci blocked access to Bactrim and funded the development of AZT that was expensive, toxic, and deadly. During Covid, Fauci blocked access to hcq and ivm and funded the development of Remdesivir and xhots that are expensive, toxic, and deadly. This proves that he loves us and is the world’s greatest scientist.

8. Authorizing the xhots for kids who already have natural immunity, are not at risk from the virus, and thus can only experience harms, is benevolent and kind. Why do kids exist? Do they even pay taxes? Robots could do a much better job. Dogs are so great. Do you follow my Instagram?

9. Bill Gates, who never finished college, once he acquired more money than he could ever spend in a lifetime, devoted his free time to hanging out with a pedophile sex trafficker. Clearly he is the best person to inform global health policy which is why he’s on CNN every Saturday night giving advice to an actual doctor, Sanjay Gupta.

10. The failures of the last two years are in fact an incredible success which is why the Biden administration is doubling down to create a Bioeconomy(TM) based on the failed genetic engineering strategies that caused the global pandemic. Only good things can come from this. We live in the best of all possible worlds.

September 19, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

Facebook reported ‘anti-authority’ users to FBI

Samizdat – September 16, 2022

Facebook has been reporting users to the FBI’s domestic terrorism unit for nothing more than anti-authority sentiment, the New York Post reported on Wednesday, citing Justice Department (DOJ) sources.

“Facebook provides the FBI with private conversations which are protected by the First Amendment without any subpoena,” the sources claimed, explaining this is done “outside the legal process and without probable cause.”

Merely expressing concern about the legitimacy of the 2020 US election results was enough to get users flagged, they said.

Excerpts from those messages, often highlighting the “most egregious-sounding comments out of context,” were offered to nearby FBI field offices as “leads.”

Upon receiving them, the local offices could request subpoenas from their partner US attorney’s office in order to legally obtain the private messages they had already been shown by Facebook outside the legal process, the Post’s sources claimed.

None of the subsequent FBI investigations turned up any criminal or violent activity, the sources said.

“It was a waste of our time,” one source complained, describing a “frenzy” of subpoena requests and other activity over the last 19 months aimed at backing up the claims made by the administration of President Joe Biden about the threat posed by domestic terrorism in the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol riot.

The users targeted by Facebook for this kind of surveillance were all “gun-toting, red-blooded Americans who were angry after the election and shooting off their mouths and talking about staging protests,” the source said, adding there was “nothing criminal, nothing about violence or massacring or assassinating anyone.”

Facebook initially called the DOJ sources’ claims “false” before releasing a second statement to the Post an hour later characterizing them as “wrong,” insisting the company’s relationship with the FBI was “designed to protect people from harm” rather than to “proactively supply” law enforcement with the names of users expressing anti-government sentiment.

“We carefully scrutinize all government requests for user information to make sure they’re legally valid and narrowly tailored and we often push back,” Erica Sackin, a spokesperson for parent company Meta, said in the statement.

The FBI admitted it receives information “with investigative value” from social media providers and that it “maintains an ongoing dialogue to enable a quick exchange of threat information,” but would neither confirm nor deny the specific allegations made by the DOJ whistleblowers.

September 17, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 2 Comments

Illegal Collusion Between Government and Big Tech Exposed

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | September 15, 2022

In a September 1, 2022, article,1 the Post Millennial reveals how federal officials in the Biden administration have held secret censorship meetings with social media companies to suppress Americans’ First Amendment rights to free speech, and to ban or deplatform those who share unauthorized views about COVID and vaccines.

The evidence for this comes out of a lawsuit2 brought by the New Civil Liberties Alliance and the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana (Eric Schmitt and Jeff Landry) against President Biden, filed in May 2022.

During the discovery process, the plaintiffs sought to identify “all meetings with any social media platform relating to content modulation and/or misinformation,” which is how we now know that such illegal meetings did, in fact, take place.

Illegal Collusion to Suppress Free Speech

Monthly, a Unified Strategies Group (USG) meeting took place — and may still be taking place — between a wide variety of government agencies and Big Tech companies, during which topics to be censored and suppressed were/are discussed.

Censored topics included stories involving COVID jab refusal, especially those involving military refusals and consequences thereof, criticism against COVID restrictions and their effects on mental health, posts talking about testing positive for COVID after getting the jab, personal stories of COVID jab side effects, including menstrual irregularities, and worries about vaccine passports becoming mandatory.3 According to the New Civil Liberties Alliance:4

“… scores of federal officials … have secretly communicated with social-media platforms to censor and suppress private speech federal officials disfavor. This unlawful enterprise has been wildly successful.

Under the First Amendment, the federal government may not police private speech nor pick winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas. But that is precisely what the government has done — and is still doing — on a massive scale not previously divulged.

Multiple agencies’ communications demonstrate that the federal government has exerted tremendous pressure on social-media companies — pressure to which companies have repeatedly bowed …

Communications show these federal officials are fully aware that the pressure they exert is an effective and necessary way to induce social-media platforms to increase censorship. The head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency even griped about the need to overcome social-media companies’ ‘hesitation’ to work with the government …

This unlawful government interference violates the fundamental right of free speech for all Americans, whether or not they are on social media. More discovery is needed to uncover the full extent of this regime — i.e., the identities of other White House and agency officials involved and the nature and content of their communications with social-media companies.”

Jenin Younes, litigation counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance added:5

“If there was ever any doubt the federal government was behind censorship of Americans who dared to dissent from official COVID messaging, that doubt has been erased. The shocking extent of the government’s involvement in silencing Americans, through coercing social-media companies, has now been revealed …”

Federal Agencies Involved in Free Speech Suppression

Documents obtained so far have identified more than 50 federal employees across 15 federal agencies, who participated in these censorship meetings or otherwise engaged in illegal censorship activities.6 This includes officials from:

  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Election Security and Resilience team
  • Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis
  • The FBI’s foreign influence taskforce
  • The Justice Department’s (DOJ) national security division
  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • White House staff (including White House lawyer Dana Remus, deputy assistant to the president Rob Flaherty and former White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt)
  • Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
  • The Office of the Surgeon General
  • The Census Bureau
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • The State Department
  • The U.S. Treasury Department
  • The U.S. Election Assistance Commission

Emails from a strategic communications and marketing firm called Reingold7 also reveals that outside consultants were hired to manage the government’s collusion with social media to censor Americans. For example, Reingold set up a “partner support portal” for the CDC so that CDC officials could link emails to the portal for easier flagging of content it wanted censored by social media companies linked to the portal.

Big Tech Companies Involved in Government Censorship

On the private industry side, notable tech participants in the censorship meetings include:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • Microsoft
  • Verizon Media
  • Pinterest
  • Wikimedia Foundation

While some social media companies may have “hesitated” to censor on the government’s behalf at times, Facebook was certainly an eager beaver from the get-go. As early as February 2020, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in contact with the State Department, offering its services to help “control information and misinformation related to coronavirus.”8

Biden Administration’s ‘Executive Privilege’ Denied

As you might expect, the White House has not cooperated with discovery and have fought to keep communications secret — especially with regard to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s correspondence — claiming all White House communications as “privileged.”

However, executive privilege does NOT apply to external communications, so the plaintiffs called on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana to “overrule the government defendants’ objections and order them to supply this highly relevant, responsive and probative information immediately.”

September 7, 2022, Judge Terry Doughty did just that. The Biden administration’s claim of executive privilege was rejected and Doughty ordered the White House to hand over any and all relevant records.9 That includes correspondence to and from Fauci, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and many others. According to the judge’s order, they have three weeks to comply.

Examples of Illegal Government Censorship

On Twitter,10 Missouri AG Schmitt has shared a long list of examples of government censorship, including one document in which Clarke Humphrey, COVID-19 response digital director at the White House, asked Facebook to take down the Instagram account “anthonyfauciofficial,” a parody account dedicated to making fun of Fauci.11 Facebook complied.

Schmitt also shared emails12,13 between a senior Facebook official and the surgeon general, stating, “I know our teams met today to better understand the scope of what the White House expects from us on misinformation going forward.” This email came on the heels of the surgeon general’s July 2021 “misinformation health advisory.”

The CDC also coordinated with Facebook, providing them with talking points to debunk various claims, including the claim that spike protein in the COVID shots is dangerous and cytotoxic. In a July 28, 2021, email, a CDC official provided Facebook with the following counter-narrative, taken straight from the “How mRNA Vaccines Work” section on the CDC website:14

“Messenger mRNA [sic] vaccines work by teaching our cells to create a harmless spike protein …” (Emphasis in the original.)

Fast-forward to mid-June 2022, and the CDC was suddenly less sure about the harmlessness of the spike protein.

Up until then, the words “harmless spike protein” had always been bolded, but in this June revision, they removed the bolding, along with an entire section in which they’d previously claimed that mRNA was rapidly broken down and spike protein did not last more than a few weeks in the body.15 Clearly, the truth was catching up to them and certain lies were getting too risky to hold on to.

CISA also reached out to Google, Meta (Facebook’s parent company), Microsoft and Twitter for help, shortly after the DHS’s Disinformation Governance Board was announced.16 Fortunately, public outcry put an end to this Orwellian Ministry of Truth before it got started.

When Censorship Becomes Election Interference

According to The Washington Times :17

“Details about the Biden administration’s conduct raised the hackles of Republican lawmakers. ‘Confirming that this is the most dangerously anti-free speech administration in American history AND that Facebook … is nothing but an appendage of the deep state,’ Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, said on Twitter as he shared news of the court filing.”

Other lawmakers are also getting involved. In an August 29, 2022, letter18,19 to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin requested records of the government’s contacts with social media companies to ascertain whether the FBI and/or DOJ did, in fact, instruct them to censor information about the Hunter Biden laptop scandal by falsely referring to it as “Russian disinformation.”20

Zuckerberg has also been asked21 to provide any correspondence involving the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story, especially as it pertains to the FBI’s instructions to censor this political hot potato — something he openly admitted in a recent Joe Rogan interview (see video above).22

Lawmakers Pursue Legislation to Penalize Gov’t Censorship

Three Republican House Representatives on the House Oversight and Reform, Judiciary, and Commerce committees — Reps. James Comer of Kentucky, Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington — have also introduced the Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act23 (HR.8752), aimed at preventing federal employees from using their positions to influence censorship decisions by tech platforms.

The bill would create restrictions to prevent federal employees from asking or encouraging private entities to censor private speech or otherwise discourage free speech, and impose penalties, including civil fines and disciplinary actions for government employees who facilitate social media censorship.

While the U.S. Constitution clearly forbids government censoring and restricting free speech, HR. 8752 could be a helpful enforcement tool, as people might tend to think twice when they know there’s a real and personal price to pay.

Sources and References

September 17, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Judge Orders Fauci to Cough It Up

BY JEFFREY A. TUCKER | BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE | SEPTEMBER 8, 2022

A lawsuit against the federal government – Anthony Fauci in particular – from the Attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana has been brewing for a good part of the summer of 2022. The issue concerns the censoring of certain high-level experts on social media, three of whom are senior scholars of the Brownstone Institute. We know for sure that this censorship began early in the pandemic response and included exchanges between Fauci and then head of NIH Francis Collins, who called for a “quick and devastating takedown” of the Great Barrington Declaration.

At issue is whether and to what extent the government itself has had a hand in encouraging tech companies to squelch speech rights. If so, this is unconstitutional. It flies in the face of the First Amendment. It never should have happened. That it did required arduous legal means to expose and, hopefully, stop.

The Framers guaranteed that Congress would make no law “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” The Constitution never allowed an exception for an administrative bureaucracy answerable not even to voters to collaborate with large-scale private corporations to obtain the same result by other means. It’s still a violation of free speech.

It is of course true that any private company can regulate itself and make terms of use. But matters are different when its managers directly collude with government agencies to distribute only information of high priority to administrative bureaucrats while censoring dissident voices at the behest of government and its interests.

In order to determine if that happened, courts need access to full information on precisely what was going in their circles of communication. On September 6, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty released a decision that orders the government to give up information relevant to the case and do so in 21 days.

Dr. Fauci’s communications would be relevant to Plaintiffs’ allegations in reference to alleged suppression of speech relating to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin, and to alleged suppression of speech about the efficiency of masks and COVID-19 lockdowns. (Karine) Jean-Pierre’s communications as White House Press Secretary could be relevant to all of Plaintiffs’ examples.

Government Defendants are making a blanket assertion of all communications to social media platforms by Dr. Fauci, and Jean-Pierre based upon executive privilege and presidential communications privilege. Plaintiffs concede they are not asking for any internal White House communications, but only external communications between Dr. Fauci and/or Jean-Pierre and third-party social media platforms.

This Court believes Plaintiffs are entitled to external communications by Jean-Pierre and Dr. Fauci in their capacities as White House Press Secretary and Chief Medical Advisor to the President to third-party social media platforms…

The initial complaint was filed May 5, 2022 and can be read in full here. It includes vast evidence of collusion between government officials and social media companies. But the government answered by claiming some kind of executive privilege and would not fork over information.

An amended complaint added the fireworks: It documented that 50 government officials in a dozen agencies were involved in applying pressure to social media companies to censor users, reports Zachary Stieber of Epoch Times.

That second filing might have flipped the switch and resulted in the judge’s decision to pull no punches. Indeed, it is a remarkable document, reproducing vast amounts of correspondence between government agencies and Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

What you see here is not antagonism but obsequious friendship: ongoing, relentless, guileless, as if nothing could be wrong here. They knew what they believed to be the problem voices and were determined to stamp them out. And that target included the documented censorship of top scientists associated with Brownstone Institute along with thousands of other credible experts and regular citizens who disagreed with the government’s extreme policy response to Covid.

Martin KulldorffAaron Kheriaty, and Jay Bhattacharya are represented in the filing by the New Civil Liberties Alliance with Jenin Younes leading the legal team for the scientists. Within weeks, we’ll have a better sense of whether and to what extent these individuals were the targets directly and how many other accounts were named in takedown orders. For example, we know for sure that Naomi Wolf, another writer for Brownstone, was directly named in correspondence between the CDC and Facebook.

All of this went on for the better part of two years, during which time the First Amendment was a dead letter insofar as it concerned Covid information on platforms that are overwhelmingly dominant on the Internet. Through those means, individual citizens were restricted in their access to a diversity of views and instead inhabit a world of censorship and tedious hegemonic exhortation that have seriously hurt the credibility of the platforms that cooperated.

Finally we see courts coming around to the view that government needs to be held accountable for its actions. It is happening far too little and far too late but at least it is happening. And at long last, we might gain a clearer look into the mysterious works of Fauci and its imperial reign over American public health during the worst crisis for constitutional rights in many generations.


Jeffrey A. Tucker, Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute, is an economist and author. He has written 10 books, including Liberty or Lockdown, and thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press.

September 8, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fauci’s Red Guards: Lawsuit Reveals Vast Federal Censorship Army

By Michael P Senger | The New Normal | September 2, 2022

One aspect of dictatorships that citizens of democratic nations often find puzzling is how the population can be convinced to support such dystopian policies. How do they get people to run those concentration camps? How do they find people to take food from starving villagers? How can they get so many people to support policies that, to any outsider, are so needlessly destructive, cruel, and dumb?

The answer lies in forced preference falsification. When those who speak up in principled opposition to a dictator’s policies are punished and forced into silence, those with similar opinions are forced into silence as well, or even forced to pretend they support policies in which they do not actually believe. Emboldened by this facade of unanimity, supporters of the regime’s policies, or even those who did not previously have strong opinions, become convinced that the regime’s policies are just and good—regardless of what those policies actually are—and that those critical of them are even more deserving of punishment.

One of history’s great masters of forced preference falsification was Chairman Mao Zedong. As László Ladány recalled, Mao’s decades-long campaign to remold the people of China in his own image began as soon as he took power after the Chinese Civil War.

By the fall of 1951, 80 percent of all Chinese had had to take part in mass accusation meetings, or to watch organized lynchings and public executions. These grim liturgies followed set patterns that once more were reminiscent of gangland practices: during these proceedings, rhetorical questions were addressed to the crowd, which, in turn, had to roar its approval in unison—the purpose of the exercise being to ensure collective participation in the murder of innocent victims; the latter were selected not on the basis of what they had done, but of who they were, or sometimes for no better reason than the need to meet the quota of capital executions which had been arbitrarily set beforehand by the Party authorities. From that time on, every two or three years, a new “campaign” would be launched, with its usual accompaniment of mass accusations, “struggle meetings,” self-accusations, and public executions… Remolding the minds, “brainwashing” as it is usually called, is a chief instrument of Chinese communism, and the technique goes as far back as the early consolidation of Mao’s rule in Yan’an.

This decades-long campaign of forced preference falsification reached its apex during the Cultural Revolution, in which Mao deputized radical youths across China, called Red Guards, to purge all vestiges of capitalism and traditional society and impose Mao Zedong Thought as China’s dominant ideology. Red Guards attacked anyone they perceived as Mao’s enemies, burned books, persecuted intellectuals, and engaged in the systematic destruction of their country’s own history, demolishing China’s relics en masse.

Through this method of forced preference falsification, any mass of people can be made to support virtually any policy, no matter how destructive or inimical to the interests of the people. Avoiding this spiral of preference falsification is therefore why freedom of speech is such a central tenet of the Enlightenment, and why it is given such primacy in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. No regime in American history has ever previously had the power to force preference falsification by systematically and clandestinely silencing those critical of its policies.

Until now. As it turns out, an astonishing new release of discovery documents in Missouri v. Biden—in which NCLA Legal is representing plaintiffs including Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, and Aaron Kheriaty against the Biden administration for violations of free speech during Covid—reveal a vast federal censorship army, with more than 50 federal officials across at least 11 federal agencies having secretly coordinated with social media companies to censor private speech.

Secretary Mayorkas of DHS commented that the federal Government’s efforts to police private speech on social media are occurring “across the federal enterprise.” It turns out that this statement is true, on a scale beyond what Plaintiffs could ever have anticipated. The limited discovery produced so far provides a tantalizing snapshot into a massive, sprawling federal “Censorship Enterprise,” which includes dozens of federal officials across at least eleven federal agencies and components identified so far, who communicate with social-media platforms about misinformation, disinformation, and the suppression of private speech on social media—all with the intent and effect of pressuring social-media platforms to censor and suppress private speech that federal officials disfavor.

The scale of this federal censorship enterprise appears to be far beyond what anyone imagined, involving even senior White House officials. The government is protecting Anthony Fauci and other high level officials by refusing to reveal documents related to their involvement.

The discovery provided so far demonstrates that this Censorship Enterprise is extremely broad, including officials in the White House, HHS, DHS, CISA, the CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General; and evidently other agencies as well, such as the Census Bureau, the FDA, the FBI, the State Department, the Treasury Department, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. And it rises to the highest levels of the U.S. Government, including numerous White House officials… In their initial response to interrogatories, Defendants initially identified forty-five federal officials at DHS, CISA, the CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General (all within only two federal agencies, DHS and HHS), who communicate with social-media platforms about misinformation and censorship.

Federal officials are coordinating to censor private speech across all major social media platforms.

The third-party social-media platforms, moreover, have revealed that more federal agencies are involved. Meta, for example, has disclosed that at least 32 federal officials—including senior officials at the FDA, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and the White House—have communicated with Meta about content moderation on its platforms, many of whom were not disclosed in response to Plaintiffs’ interrogatories to Defendants. YouTube disclosed eleven federal officials engaged in such communications, including officials at the Census Bureau and the White House, many of whom were also not disclosed by Defendants. Twitter disclosed nine federal officials, including senior officials at the State Department who were not previously disclosed by Defendants.

Federal officials are granted privileged status by social media companies for the purpose of censoring speech on their platforms, and officials hold weekly meetings on what to censor.

These federal bureaucrats are deeply embedded in a joint enterprise with social-media companies to procure the censorship of social-media speech. Officials at HHS routinely flag content for censorship, for example, by organizing weekly “Be On The Lookout” meetings to flag disfavored content, sending lengthy lists of examples of disfavored posts to be censored, serving as privileged “fact checkers” whom social-media platforms consult about censoring private speech, and receiving detailed reports from social-media companies about so-called “misinformation” and “disinformation” activities online, among others.

Social media companies have even set up secret, privileged channels to give federal officials expedited means to censor content on their platforms.

For example, Facebook trained CDC and Census Bureau officials on how to use a “Facebook misinfo reporting channel.” Twitter offered federal officials a privileged channel for flagging misinformation through a “Partner Support Portal.” YouTube has disclosed that it granted “trusted flagger” status to Census Bureau officials, which allows privileged and expedited consideration of their claims that content should be censored.

Many suspected that some coordination between social media companies and the federal government was occurring, but the breadth, depth, and coordination of this apparatus is far beyond what virtually anyone imagined. And the scale of this censorship apparatus raises troubling questions.

How could so many federal officials be convinced to engage in the clandestine censorship of opposition to tin-pot public health policies from China which have killed tens of thousands of young Americans and—let’s be honest—were never really that popular to begin with? The answer, I believe, is that high-level White House officials such as Anthony Fauci must have been simultaneously threatening social media companies if they did not comply with federal censorship demands, while also threatening entire federal bureaucracies if they did not toe the Party line.

By simultaneously threatening both the federal bureaucracy and social media companies, a handful of high-level officials could effectively transform the federal government into a sprawling censorship army reminiscent of Mao’s Red Guards, silencing any opposition to tin-pot public health policies with increasing detachment and certitude as this systematic silencing falsely convinced them that the regime’s policies were just and good. A few of these federal employees must have eventually let slip to the Republicans that this jawboning was taking place, which appears to have been how this suit began.

In plaintiff Aaron Kheriaty’s words:

Hyperbole and exaggeration have been common features on both sides of covid policy disputes. But I can say with all soberness and circumspection (and you, kind readers, will correct me if I am wrong here): this evidence suggests we are uncovering the most serious, coordinated, and large-scale violation of First Amendment free speech rights by the federal government’s executive branch in US history.


Michael P Senger is an attorney and author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World. 

September 4, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

YouTube will censor election “misinformation” that doesn’t break any rules

By Tom Parker | Reclaim The Net | September 1, 2022

YouTube has detailed how it will scale up its censorship efforts in the run-up to the 2022 US midterm elections by removing election “misinformation” and suppressing content that doesn’t break any rules but is considered to be “borderline.”

YouTube claims that its election misinformation policy applies to any past US presidential election, the 2021 German federal election, and the 2014 and 2018 Brazilian presidential elections. Under this policy, alleging that “widespread fraud, errors, or glitches” occurred in these elections or claiming that “certified results of those elections were false” is banned.

Despite YouTube’s claim that this policy applies to any past US presidential election, numerous videos questioning the 2016 US presidential results and alleging that Russia hacked the election are still on the platform. By contrast, the policy was used to remove more than 8,000 channels for making “harmful and misleading” claims about the 2020 US presidential election. And YouTube said it’s already removed several videos related to the 2022 US midterms.

In addition to removing content that breaks its election misinformation rules, YouTube will also prevent “borderline” content from being widely recommended. According to YouTube, borderline content doesn’t break any rules but is suppressed because it comes close to breaking the rules.

Finally, YouTube will amplify mainstream media outlets that it deems to be “authoritative” by:

  • Prominently recommending their content
  • Promoting their election night live streams on the YouTube homepage
  • Adding labels from these sources below videos about the midterms and in search results about the midterms

YouTube said that PBS NewsHour, The Wall Street Journal, Univision and local ABC, CBS and, NBC affiliates are some of the authoritative sources that will receive additional amplification.

In 2020, YouTube’s artificial amplification of mainstream media outlets gave them a huge advantage over independent creators. Independent creators were 14x less likely to be recommended on election-related content and mainstream media outlets had an 88% chance of ranking in the top 10 search results for election-related content.

This year, YouTube has censored several videos about the 2022 Brazilian general election including a video from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and multiple videos from journalists.

YouTube is one of several Big Tech platforms to announce increased election censorship measures in the run-up to the 2022 US midterms with Facebook and Twitter recently describing how they plan to censor what they deem to be election misinformation as the midterms approach.

Related:

 🛡 The subtle (and not so subtle) ways Big Tech has the power to influence elections

September 2, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 2 Comments

Germany and France want Tiktokers deployed against Russia – Bloomberg

Samizdat – August 30, 2022

TikTokers and YouTubers could help the EU drive a wedge between the Russian government and the people, Germany and France have reportedly told other members of the bloc.

Ideas on how its members could influence Russian citizens were formulated in a document circulated ahead of this week’s high-level EU meeting in Prague, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The plan is meant for discussion behind closed doors, but the news agency said it had studied the document.

Berlin and Paris suggested enrolling popular video bloggers on platforms including YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Telegram, and VK to help disseminate EU-funded teaching courses on “media literacy,” according to Bloomberg. The courses will supposedly explain to Russians why they should dismiss “Russian propaganda” and trust “independent information” that counters what the Russian government says.

The EU should also target Russian-speaking minorities in other nations with content that serves the same goal, the report says. There is also a proposal for an “Internet Censorship Circumvention Hub” for Russians.

After Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, the EU significantly ramped up its efforts to silence Russian media within the bloc. Government-funded outlets RT and Sputnik were banned from broadcasting, while US-based tech giants such as Facebook stopped showing content from the news organizations on their platforms to EU residents. Brussels justified the censorship by the need to counter ‘Russian propaganda’.

Moscow also imposed restrictions on media, blacklisting some Western outlets in retaliation and introduced punishment for slander against Russia’s armed forces.

August 30, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , , , , | Leave a comment

79% of Americans believe not censoring Hunter Biden laptop story would have changed election outcome: survey

By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | August 29, 2022

According to a survey conducted by the TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics (TIPP), 79% of Americans believe “truthful” coverage of the Hunter Biden laptop story, had it not been censored by Big Tech, would have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

The recently published survey was based on the responses of people who claimed that they were “very” or “somewhat” closely following the laptop story.

Overall, 79% of the respondents said that a “truthful interpretation” of the laptop story would have “very” or “somewhat” likely resulted in the reelection of former President Donald Trump.

Of the 79%, 57% of Republicans believed Trump would have won, compared to 44% of Democrats and 48% of independents.

A majority, 89% of Republicans, 74% of independents, and 61% of Democrats, said they believe the laptop story “is real.” Only 11% said that they believe the story was “created by Russia.”

81% of the respondents said that US Attorney General Merrick Garland should open an investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop, whose contents were first reported by the New York Post.

The spread of the story was restricted on mainstream social media platforms, with Twitter going to the extent of banning it entirely and suspending the Post’s account.

On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience and said the FBI had warned Facebook of an imminent “dump” of “Russian propaganda” shortly before the Hunter Biden story broke, which caused them to decide to censor it.

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Trump demands election rerun ‘immediately’

Samizdat – August 29, 2022

Former President Donald Trump called on Monday for himself to be declared the “rightful winner” of the 2020 presidential election, or for the vote to be held again. Trump’s outburst came after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that he limited the spread of a story damaging to Joe Biden’s campaign on the advice of the FBI.

“So now it comes out, conclusively, that the FBI buried the Hunter Biden laptop story before the election,” Trump wrote in a post to his Truth Social platform, adding that the agency did so knowing “if they didn’t, ‘Trump would have easily won the 2020 Presidential Election’.”

“This is massive fraud and election interference at a level never seen before in our country,” the former president continued, adding that as a “remedy,” he should be declared the “rightful winner,” or that the government should “declare the 2020 election irreparably compromised and have a new election, immediately!”

Zuckerberg told podcast host Joe Rogan last week that Facebook worked to limit the reach of a New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s laptop in the runup to the 2020 election. The laptop, which has since been independently verified as genuine, contained details of Joe Biden’s son’s drug use, activities with prostitutes, and foreign business dealings, some of which stood to benefit Biden Sr.

Zuckerberg said that the FBI “came to us” and warned that “there’s about to be some kind of dump” of “Russian propaganda.” The Biden campaign also falsely described the laptop’s contents as “Russian propaganda” at the time.

Despite Trump’s protestations, there is likely little he can do. The former president already accused Biden of winning by fraud, citing ballot harvesting, alleged abuse of mail-in voting, and claims of late-night pauses in counting followed by “dumps” of ballots for Biden at voting locations in key swing states. Trump filed numerous lawsuits protesting his loss, but of the few that courts agreed to hear, none were successful.

Facebook was not the only platform to limit the spread of the laptop story. Twitter banned any mention of the Post article and temporarily suspended the newspaper from its platform, while other media outlets – who now admit that the laptop was real and newsworthy – refused to cover the story.

In a statement released after Zuckerberg’s interview, the FBI said that it “routinely notifies US private sector entities, including social media providers, of potential threat information, so that they can decide how to better defend against threats.” However, the agency added that it “cannot ask, or direct, companies to take action.” The FBI did not elaborate on why it labeled the contents of the laptop a “threat.”

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , | 5 Comments

Facebook to let “fact checkers” comment on posts that “may not be verifiably false”

By Didi Rankovic | Reclaim The Net | August 27, 2022

Just in case anything slips through the existing “fact-checking,” narrative-enforcing cracks of Facebook’s censorship, a new “feature” is now being introduced as a pilot.

Through it, Facebook is letting a small group of US “fact-checkers” leave comments on public posts, which “may not be verifiably false, but that people may find misleading.”

This has been revealed in the tech and social media behemoth’s Community Standards Enforcement Report for the second quarter of this year. One of Facebook’s (Meta’s) activities covered in the report concerns its third-party fact-checker – aka, the “hired censorship guns” program.

At the very end of the report, Facebook briefly mentions the exceedingly interesting new pilot program. While critics will no doubt see it as yet another avenue for the giant to steer users in a particular direction, it is presented as quite the opposite: allegedly to “empower” users as they come across content and are deciding “what to read, share, and trust.”

“A small group of our US third-party fact-checking partners has the ability to comment in English and Spanish to provide more information on public Facebook posts that they determine could benefit from more context,” the report reads.

Does this mean what it looks like it means – that Facebook is using fact-checkers to appear more like real users commenting, influencing actual real users – rather than reviled enforcers slapping labels on posts that often result in deranking and outright censorship?

It’s hard to tell from the little space Facebook’s report dedicates to the project. We do know that it is separate from the “fact-checking” program that results in penalties for users.

If a “fact-checker” from the select group leaves a comment on your post, it will not represent a fact-check rating, directly result in negative consequences, or downrank content, Facebook promises.

Elsewhere in the report, Facebook reveals that in the Q2 of 2022, “fact-checker” warnings have been put on more than 200 million posts, including re-shares.

August 27, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | | 1 Comment

Maria Zakharova responds to Zuckerberg’s FBI revelations

Samizdat – August 26, 2022

The FBI and other US security agencies secretly control American social media giants, Russia’s foreign ministry press director has alleged. The high-level official cited a recent interview by Mark Zuckerberg, in which the Facebook CEO supposedly acknowledged such influence.

On Friday, spokesperson Maria Zakharova published a post on her Telegram channel devoted to Zuckerberg’s recent appearance on The Joe Rogan podcast. According to the Russian diplomat, Facebook’s first-in-command recounted how FBI operatives had visited him ahead of the 2020 US presidential elections, which ended in victory for Joe Biden, asking him to suppress stories revolving around the “unseemly contents” of Hunter Biden’s laptop on his platforms.

“The men in black ‘convinced’ Mark Zuckerberg… that these were all Russian fakes,” Zakharova added, referencing the podcast.

She went on to surmise that this kind of “excuse for censorship” was sufficient to have made Facebook’s CEO comply with the request. The subsequent suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story “helped pronounce Biden senior as the winner in the election,” Zakharova noted, remarking that many Americans are still unconvinced.

The diplomat went on to argue that, with the laptop story turning out to be true and with Zuckerberg’s revelations to Rogan, “the world has learned that the US social media played a decisive role in this performance.” She added that the suspension of then-President Trump’s accounts by the main social media platforms just goes to show that the US authorities collude with the “internet monopolies.”

Zakharova concluded that all this proves that the “FBI and other American security services manually control digital giants,” with social media platforms’ leadership only too happy to “participate in dirty political games in Washington.” The senior diplomat also made the claim that “there are no democratic standards in the American electoral system: neither in theory nor in practice.”

August 26, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 5 Comments