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Feds Allegedly Engage in Widespread Censorship

Government

Laptop with censorship across screen | Image by Shutterstock

A domestic censorship industry indirectly financed and allegedly directly coordinated by U.S. government agencies in 2020 to target supposed ‘misinformation’ is now gearing up for the 2022 election cycle after receiving millions of taxpayer dollars from the Biden administration.

The Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) was formed in 2020 with input from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to analyze potential election “misinformation” on social media and “route [its] findings to the appropriate parties to mitigate the impact.”

The group was comprised of advocacy groups and other institutions such as the Stanford Internet Observatory’s Program on Democracy and the Internet, data-analysis company Graphika, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, and the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public.

In total, 35% of the targeted information deemed “wrong” by EIP was “labeled, removed, or soft blocked” by major social media organizations, according to its report following the 2020 election.

The creation of the Election Integrity Partnership seemingly originated from within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the Department of Homeland Security. Several students from the Stanford Internet Observatory returned from an internship at CISA with the idea.

The collaboration sought to support government agencies in efforts to “monitor and correct election mis- and disinformation.”

The group noted that while the government’s hands are tied by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, organizations technically outside the government could pressure private organizations to electively censor information contradictory to approved narratives.

Therefore, “in consultation with CISA and other stakeholders, a coalition was assembled with like-minded partner institutions.”

The result was a system where governmental, social, and media groups could file “tickets” with the EIP for assessment and “mitigation” if the organization agreed with the objections of the “external stakeholders.”

The EIP noted in its report, “Of the tickets we processed, 72% were related to delegitimization of the election.”

Stakeholders included technology industry titans such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as other organizations such as TikTok, Reddit, Nextdoor, Discord, and Pinterest.

Civic groups that participated included AARP, NAACP, National Conference on Citizenship, MITRE SQUINT, Common Cause, Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project, and the Belfer Center’s Defending Digital Democracy Project. A number of these groups receive taxpayer money or receive federal grants.

Government involvement exceeded inspiration and funding, however, and actively involved government elements, including CISA, the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC), and the Global Engagement Center within the State Department.

The group rejected the idea that its members were participating in censorship, dismissively referring to the fact that social media services such as Parler “saw a remarkable increase in its active user base, as users rejected the ‘censorship’ they perceived on other platforms.”

Following the election, all four major partners received millions of taxpayer dollars to continue the program.

The Center for an Informed Public’s collaboration with Stanford’s group received $3 million from the National Science Foundation to develop applications of “rapid-response research to mitigate online disinformation.”

Graphika was similarly given $3 million of taxpayer money in the form of a Department of Defense Grant, which does not end until after the midterm elections. The Atlantic Council, the parent organization of the Digital Forensic Research Lab, has collected roughly $4.7 million since 2021.

Watchdog groups such as the Foundation for Freedom Online have denounced the alleged coordination between the federal government and external organizations, claiming that the Department of Homeland Security “acts like a coordinator of a censorship network” to avoid constitutional limitations.

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Doug
Doug
5 months ago

Censorship of opposing viewpoints is propaganda generated by the government to promote the lies they tell every day. The worst part is that there are about half of the population that believes them to be true.

David
David
5 months ago

These are destructive partisan organizations that completely manipulated the 2020 election and they are doing it again. This is no conspiracy theory, these people brag about it and put it and put it in writing. They are destroying democracy. They are a cancer on democracy.

Mary Ellen Bluntzer
Mary Ellen Bluntzer
5 months ago

Now illogical thinking runs rampant. Slogans are substituted for argument. Inconvenient data and opinions are censored by OUR govenment. Noted expert on the sociology of evil (ponerology) Andrew M. Lobaczewski describes the specific failures of individuals in society to pursue truth during good times. In a stupor of comfort and convenience, we surrendered our govenment to the highest bidder. The challenge is to reclaim our morals and integrity, one by one.

will
will
5 months ago

I’d like to see some examples of stuff that was actually censored, among other things, under this structure or arrangement before I could arrive at any conclusions. Without elaborating at this moment, it seems clear enough to me that there is also a strong public interest that is worthy of protection.

David
David
Reply to  will
5 months ago

Does the name Tony Bobulinski ring a bell? Does Hunter Biden’s laptop ring a bell. Does Quid Pro Quo by Joe Biden with Ukrainian ring a bell? There’s plenty of video of that one that the censors just ignored and blew off. I can give you lots more examples.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
Reply to  David
5 months ago

So you aren’t going to mention obstruction and quid pro quo by Drumpf?

You people on here are some
ignorant fools.

And since when are companies not allowed to remove content that is not in alignment with their end-user agreement? Can I come to your house and tell you what you are going to watch on TV?

David
David
Reply to  Bill Fox
5 months ago

The only thing you said here was ‘We the people’ have to put up with this obsession against the previous administration, for quod pro quo, for four years, but when there is a mountain of evidence against Joe, all you hear is crickets from the MSM and the justice department. And not even crickets. The people that are ‘aware’ ALL they want is fairness. What is going on now is not that. You’re being played.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
Reply to  David
5 months ago

Further, Hunter Biden’s laptop has only appeared to incriminate Hunter Biden. Last time I checked, he isn’t an elected official and is under indictment, which seems to be further down the road than the indictments against Ken Paxton.

David
David
Reply to  Bill Fox
5 months ago

The statement ’What have you been told to think today?’ Fits your reply exactly. You have no clue what is going on. You are the guy this article is about. You are being played and you don’t even know it.