Commentary: VDARE’s Fight Against Letitia James Is Our Fight, Too

New York AG

For all its gesticulations about “free speech,” the conservative mainstream often plays a supporting role in America’s censorship regime. It’s a two-step dance: The Right styles itself as the sworn defender of free speech and the mortal enemy of censorship while simultaneously downplaying or outright ignoring brazen censorship of speech that ventures a bit too far outside the Overton window. By claiming to defend all free speech in principle but only defending some in practice, the Right concedes, by omission, that certain ideas fall outside the bounds of free expression — and that it’s perfectly appropriate (or, at least, not particularly objectionable) to bring the full force of regime power to bear against any individual so unwise as to express them.

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Commentary: The Winners of RealClearPolitics’ Samizdat Prize

RCP Award Show

Dave Rubin of “The Rubin Report” hosts a panel with the winners of the first RealClearPolitics Samizdat Prize — “Twitter Files” journalist Matt Taibbi, “Great Barrington Declaration” co-author Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, and NY Post reporter and “Laptop From Hell” author Miranda Devine.

The three were chosen for their bravery in resisting censorship. They discuss the cost of taking a stand as well as the future of free speech and online discourse.

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Commentary: The Gift of C-SPAN in an Era of Partisan Media

Al Gore on C-SPAN

Forty-five years ago today, future vice president Albert Gore Jr. stood in the well of the House of Representatives to discuss an innovative development in television programming. There was nothing remarkable about that in itself: Al Gore had been a newspaperman before becoming a Tennessee congressman and had a genuine interest in both new technology and mass communication.

Except that there was something momentous about Gore’s speech that day. It was the first time that remarks delivered on the House floor by a member of Congress were televised. It was an event long envisioned by a 38-year-old Indiana-born, Purdue-educated, U.S. Navy veteran who had worked as a White House and Capitol Hill aide before returning to journalism. His name was Brian Lamb. As the Washington bureau chief of the trade publication Cablevision, Lamb had dreamed of creating a nonprofit cable network that would focus exclusively on public affairs, particularly Congress. It was called C-SPAN, and on March 19, 1979, that dream became reality.

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Commentary: Why the ‘Language Watch?’

"Gun Violence" Language Watch video

Who is in charge of the language? Not us conservatives, that’s for sure. We are flotsam flowing with the waters formulated by the liberal establishment and culture. We are using their language constructs. No longer.

We are creating a series of short videos, about one minute each, plucking a phrase from those polluted waters and explaining why it is polluted, propagandistic, and not worthy of use in a society that more than ever needs a common language not loaded with political narratives. We are calling the series “Language Watch.”

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RussiaGate Hoax Paved Way for Security State’s Domestic Censorship During 2020 Election, Internet Free Speech Expert Says

Mike Benz

According to an expert in internet free speech, the RussiaGate hoax perpetrated against former President Donald J. Trump’s 2016 election campaign was the beginning of the security state’s inward focus on domestic censorship online.

Mike Benz, the founder and executive director of the Foundation for Freedom Online (FFO), told Tucker Carlson in an interview last week that since the mid-20th century, there was an unwritten rule that security state apparatuses like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were not to be used domestically against the American people, but that the security state knew how powerful its apparatus could be if turned inward.

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Revealed: U.S. Military is Working to Censor ‘Right-Wing Populist Groups’

Military Cyber Warfare

According to an online free speech expert, the U.S. military is directly working to censor “right-wing populist groups” on the internet.

“An industry had been created that spanned the Pentagon, the British Ministry of Defense and Brussels into an organized political warfare outlet,” Mike Benz told Tucker Carlson in an interview last week. “Essentially, infrastructure that was created [and] initially stationed in Germany and in central and eastern Europe to create psychological buffer zones – basically the ability to have the military work with the social media companies to censor Russian propaganda or to censor domestic right wing populist groups in Europe who were rising in political power at the time because of the migrant crisis.”

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Mike Benz Details How the Foreign Policy Establishment is Actively Fighting Populism in the U.S.

Mike Benz, former Trump state department official and current Executive Director of the Foundation for Freedom Online, joined Monday’s edition of Steve Bannon’s War Room where he explained why the foreign policy establishment is the main driver of censorship in the U.S.

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Report: Amazon Censored Books on COVID Vaccine After Pressure from Biden White House

Vaccine Shot

New internal emails from Amazon reveal that the tech giant ultimately censored books discussing the topic of Chinese Coronavirus vaccines after being pressured to do so by the Biden Administration.

As reported by the New York Post, the emails and other documents were released by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Monday in a series of posts on X, which Jordan referred to as “The Amazon Files.” The communications were obtained by a subpoena from the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which was established with the purpose of exposing abuse of federal powers to target political opponents, including collusion between the government and private sector entities such as Big Tech.

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Ohio U.S. Rep Jim Jordan Debuts ‘Amazon Files’ Showcasing Federal Censorship Efforts Against Books

The House Judiciary Committee and the Weaponization subpanel on Monday revealed internal documents secured via the subpoena of Amazon, highlighting the Biden administration’s efforts to address “propaganda” and “misinformation” in books the online retailer sold.

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Commentary: Logically.AI of Britain and the Expanding Global Reach of Censorship

Computer Keyboard

Brian Murphy, a former FBI agent who once led the intelligence wing of the Department of Homeland Security, reflected last summer on the failures of the Disinformation Governance Board – the panel formed to actively police misinformation. The board, which was proposed in April 2022 after he left DHS, was quickly shelved by the Biden administration in a few short months in the face of criticism that it would be an Orwellian state-sponsored “Ministry of Truth.”

In a July podcast, Murphy said the threat of state-sponsored disinformation meant the executive branch has an “ethical responsibility” to rein in the social media companies. American citizens, he said, must give up “some of your freedoms that you need and deserve so that you get security back.”

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Director of Internet Free Speech Nonprofit Says EU is Angling to Make X Purchase ‘Middleware’

Elon Musk X EU

Mike Benz, the director of a nonprofit that advocates for free speech, is sounding the alarm on the European Union’s investigation into X, formerly known as Twitter, for what it claims are breakages of the multinational conglomerate’s hate speech laws. 

Benz, an attorney and the executive director of the Foundation for Freedom Online (FFO), says that the EU’s plan is to force X into implementing a mandatory “disinformation compliance” service like NewsGuard. Such products have been termed “middleware.” 

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Former New York Times Editorial Page Editor Writes Scathing Essay About Newspaper’s Culture and His Exit

James Bennet

James Bennet, the former editorial page editor of The New York Times, has written a scathing column about his departure from the paper and criticizing the Times for what he sees as a shift away from its previous journalistic principles.

Bennet gave his version of the story of his departure in a 16,000-word article in The Economist, where he is currently a columnist. In the article, titled “When the New York Times lost its way,” he describes what he sees as the Times’ shift from traditional journalistic principles, according to The Daily Wire, and “courage,” to an “illiberal” philosophy of the news.

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Commentary: Government Cannot Become Big Brother

Anyone who lived through 2020 observed that some messages received treatment online that stood in stark contrast to other messages. Conservative voices and messages were censored and banned, while progressive voices and messages flowed freely. If a person spoke against COVID-19 lockdowns—and later vaccines—there was a good chance that a social media platform would take down the post. If one were to suggest that suspicious activities occurred surrounding the 2020 election, the label “misinformation” might appear.

The primary vehicle to censor internet speech is to label disfavored messages as dis-, mis-, or mal-information. While the category of malinformation is seemingly the most offensive – true information that government censors believe lacks sufficient “context” – the other categories can be just as malignant. Mis- and disinformation require someone to determine what is true and what is not.

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Texas AG Ken Paxton Sues Pfizer for Misrepresenting Efficacy of the COVID-19 Jabs and Conspiring to Censor Public Discourse

AG Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday that he is suing Pfizer for “unlawfully misrepresenting” Covid-19 vaccine efficacy and conspiring to censor public discourse.

“Pfizer engaged in false, deceptive, and misleading acts and practices by making unsupported claims regarding the company’s COVID-19 vaccine in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act,” Paxton said in a press release.

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Commentary: Supporting Censorship Will Backfire on the Right

Free speech has long been one of the most sacred American values. Until recently, commitment to free speech in general was bipartisan and widespread. Almost every American from every political persuasion valued free speech.

There used to be some debate on the margins. Conservatives were wary of extending free speech protection to corrosive things like pornography, and liberals were wary of official speech endorsing religion. But, as recently as the 1990s, neither side believed its opponent should be censored, and the idea of exempting “hate speech” from the normal rule against censorship did not have much traction.

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Tucker Carlson Travels to Spain for Episode 40 of ‘Tucker on X’

In episode 40 of his newest production, “Tucker on X,” host Tucker Carlson traveled to Madrid, Spain, to attend a protest and sit down with the leader of the Vox political party, Santiago Abascal, described by the former Fox News anchor as “honest, principled, and completely unafraid.”

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Supreme Court Issues Another Temporary Pause on Injunction Against Biden Admin Censorship Efforts

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday issued another stay of an injunction blocking the Biden administration from encouraging social media companies to censor speech.

Alito’s administrative stay blocks the injunction originally issued by District of Louisiana Judge Terry A. Doughty until Oct. 20, giving the justices more time to consider the Biden administration’s request for a longer stay on the injunction and to take up the case. Alito has issued short stays against the injunction twice, with the last one expiring Sept. 27.

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Supreme Court Extends Pause on Appeals Court Ruling on Biden Admin Censorship Efforts

The Supreme Court on Friday extended its stay on an injunction blocking the Biden administration from coercing or significantly encouraging social media companies to censor speech.

Justice Samuel Alito temporarily froze the injunction until Sept. 22 last week after the Biden administration requested a stay. On Friday, the justices extended the stay to Sept. 27.

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Trump Vows to Crush Federal Censorship with New Appointees, Executive Order if Elected in 2024

Former President Donald Trump is vowing to dismantle the federal machinery built by the Biden administration to censor political speech in America, saying he will appoint new leaders of agencies that have engaged in silencing free speech. He also said he would sign an Executive Order banning government employees from participating in projects that infringe the First Amendment.

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Director of Internet Free Speech Nonprofit Sounds Alarm on ‘Middleware’ Censorship by NewsGuard

The founder of a nonprofit that advocates for freedom of speech on the internet is sounding the alarm on government weaponization of “middleware” companies, which he said are essentially shell organizations for government censorship.

“The reason that they call it competitive middleware is because they’re trying to create a competitive industry around middleware compliance to avoid any antitrust situations that could arise,” Mike Benz, the executive director of Foundation for Freedom Online (FFO), told The Tennessee Star Tuesday.

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Censorship Case Involving State Collusion with Social Media Companies Could Be Heard by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court could hear a case questioning a California agency’s coordination with Twitter to censor election-related “misinformation.”

O’Handley v. Weber, which concerns the California Secretary of State’s Office of Election Cybersecurity’s work with Twitter to monitor “false or misleading” election information, was appealed to the Supreme Court on June 8. The case raises questions similar to those posed in the free speech lawsuit Missouri v. Biden, now being appealed in the Fifth Circuit: Can the government lawfully induce private actors to censor protected speech?

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Federal Judge Denies Biden Admin’s Request to Keep Coordinating with Big Tech to Censor Americans

A federal judge denied the Biden administration’s attempt to pause an injunction that bars federal officials from communicating with social media companies for the purposes of censoring protected speech on Monday.

The Biden administration appealed Western District of Louisiana Judge Terry A. Doughty’s July 4 injunction on Wednesday, also requesting an emergency order to pause the injunction while the appeal is pending on Thursday night. Doughty denied the administration’s emergency order Monday, finding that plaintiffs would likely succeed in proving the government colluded with social media companies “to engage in viewpoint-based suppression of protected free speech.”

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Biden Admin Asks for Emergency Order Stopping Ban on Big Tech Censorship Coordination

The Biden administration requested an emergency order Thursday night to pause the preliminary injunction issued by a federal judge to prevent officials from communicating with social media platforms to censor protected speech.

The administration asked to immediately halt the injunction, issued by Western District of Louisiana Judge Terry A. Doughty on Tuesday, or to issue a seven day administrative stay while their appeal to the Fifth Circuit, which was filed on Wednesday, is pending. Doughty’s injunction bars federal officials in the Department of Health and Human Services, FBI and other agencies from communicating with social media platforms for “the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”

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Judge Orders Biden Administration to Limit Contact with Social Media Platforms

A Louisiana federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Biden administration to limit its contact with social media platforms, determining that the government likely violated the First Amendment by working to censor disfavored political viewpoints online. Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump appointed U.S. District Court judge, issued a preliminary injunction barring federal officials and agencies from contacting social media firms to seek the removal of protected speech, Politico reported.

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Study Finding Facebook Does Not Censor Conservatives Is ‘Deeply Flawed,’ ‘Laughable,’ Experts Say

Media Matters for America published a study recently concluding that Facebook does not censor conservatives, but experts told the DCNF the study is not credible because it did not properly measure the suppression of right-leaning pages.

Right-leaning Facebook pages typically got more total interactions than politically nonaligned and left-leaning pages on Facebook, according to the study. However, experts say this does not mean that there was no censorship of right-leaning Facebook pages, as the only example of suppression the Media Matters study cites is Donald Trump’s Facebook ban.

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COVID Vaccine Injury Victims Sue Biden Officials, Alleging They’ve Been Victimized by Censorship

The Biden administration is using “threats, pressure, inducement, and coercion” to censor social media groups for COVID-19 vaccine injuries and prevent them from raising money, according to a new First Amendment lawsuit based in part on legal discovery from ongoing state-led litigation.

Plaintiffs Brianne Dressen, Shaun Barcavage, Kristi Dobbs, Nikki Holland and Suzanna Newell allege they “suffered –and continue to experience – serious and debilitating medical injuries within days (and, in many cases, hours)” of COVID vaccination. And plaintiff Ernest Ramirez says his 16-year-old son died of cardiac arrest five days after the boy’s first Pfizer dose. 

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Commentary: Government Censorship Agency Scrubs Disinformation Web Page About Its History Interacting with Social Media Platforms

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the censorship agency everyone has been talking about, has scrubbed its Misinformation, Disinformation and Malinformation (MDM) webpage, https://cisa.gov/mdm to remove any mentions of interacting with “appropriate social media platforms” to “route disinformation concerns”.

How malinformative, to use the agency’s jargon. Malinformation, per the agency, “is based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.” By removing mentions and the context of the agency’s stated history of interacting with social media platforms, the agency is apparently attempting to mislead, harm and manipulate the public into believing it never did those things in the first place.

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Latest Twitter Files Reveal Adam Schiff’s Collusion with Platform to Censor Opponents

On Tuesday, the eleventh and twelfth installments of the Twitter Files highlighted the role that Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) played in censoring conservative accounts on the platform.

As reported by Fox News, the two back-to-back threads posted by journalist Matt Taibbi revealed that Twitter “received an astonishing variety of requests from officials asking for individuals they didn’t like to be banned.” One example was in November of 2020, when Schiff’s office emailed Twitter demanding the banning of several “QAnon conspiracists” on Twitter, which they claimed were responsible for “harassment” against Schiff aide Sean Misko.

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Florida Supreme Court Approves Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Request for Investigation Into COVID Shot Injuries

The Florida Supreme Court approved Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) request to impanel a grand jury to review evidence regarding COVID shot injuries and misconduct in his state.

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‘Take Aim:’ Adam Schiff Threatens Big Tech Unless They Censor More Content

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California said Sunday that Section 230 protections should be repealed if tech companies do not do more to combat “hate and loathing” on their platforms.

“I’m particularly concerned about the practice some of the large tech companies have of, whenever there is a budding, promising new entrant into the market, they buy them out because they don’t necessarily want to develop that product line themself, but they don’t want the competition,” Schiff told CNN host Jake Tapper on State of the Union. “We should absolutely take aim at that and other anti-competitive actions of Big Tech, and I think we’ve got a big problem right now with social media companies and their failure to moderate content and the explosion of hate on Twitter, the banning of journalists on Twitter.”

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In Nevada, Trump Makes Clarion Call to End ‘Growing Tyranny’ of Censorship

Former President Donald Trump urged Republicans to fight creeping censorship, saying efforts to silence dissent and deploy law enforcement against opponents were pushing America to a “tipping point.”

At a rally Saturday night in Minden, Nevada, Trump urged Republicans to turn out in November in large numbers and support the GOP slate that includes Senate nominee Adam Laxalt and gubernatorial nominee Joe Lombardo. Both are leading in the latest polls.

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PayPal Reverses Course, Withdraws Policy That Would Have Fined Users for ‘Misinformation’

PayPal outside shot of logo

In a censorship experiment gone awry, PayPal reversed course Saturday night and said it was withdrawing a new policy that would have allowed the company to fine users $2,500 if they spread “misinformation.”

The company sent a statement to the National Review saying the Acceptable Use Policy had been sent out mistakenly,

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Fed-Backed Censorship Machine Targeted 20 News Sites: Report

The private consortium that reported election “misinformation” to tech platforms during the 2020 election season, in “consultation” with federal agencies, targeted several news organizations in its dragnet.

Websites for Just the News, New York Post, Fox News, Washington Examiner, Washington Times, Epoch Times and Breitbart were identified among the 20 “most prominent domains across election integrity incidents” that were cited in tweets flagged by the Election Integrity Partnership and its collaborators.

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Medical Boards Punishing Doctors Exercising Independent Judgment to Practice Medicine

Various medical boards, and now even a California bill, threaten doctors who have exercised their independence from the government’s narrative in their efforts to discuss the risks of the COVID mRNA shots and the benefits of early treatments for COVID-19 with their patients.

Certification boards such as the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ABOG), and the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) have all been named in a federal lawsuit filed in July by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons Educational Foundation (AAPS) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.  

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Government-Social Media Communications Reveal ‘Vast Censorship Enterprise,’ State Attorneys General Allege

Newly released communications between federal officials and social media companies reveal how the Biden administration and Big Tech coordinated to silence opposing views on a number of topics—especially COVID-19— in “a vast censorship enterprise,”  the attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana alleged in a court filing Thursday.

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Commentary: Inflation Can’t Be Censored

An increasingly disturbing feature of American politics is the routine suppression of major news stories that reflect poorly on candidates favored by the Fourth Estate. The most egregious example in recent years occurred in October of 2020 when corporate news outlets and social media platforms colluded to bury a New York Post article on Hunter Biden. Fortunately, some stories just aren’t susceptible to such censorship. Inflation is a case in point. It can’t be hidden from the voters because soaring prices shout the bad news from every grocery store shelf and gas pump in the nation.

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LinkTree Cancels LibsOfTiktok After WaPo Doxxing

One of the most popular right-wing Twitter accounts Wednesday said that it has been banned from using an online link-sharing service.

“Linktree just deleted my account citing ‘inappropriate use of this service,'” said Twitter account LibsOfTikTok. “When I try to log in it says my account is no longer accessible. Why am I suddenly being censored?”

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Twitter Bans Ads Contradicting U.N. Climate Science

Twitter will no longer sell ads with messaging that contradicts the United Nations’ (UN) scientists, according to a statement from the Silicon Valley tech giant. 

“To better serve these conversations, misleading advertisements on Twitter that contradict the scientific consensus on climate change are prohibited, in line with our inappropriate content policy,” the statement says. “We believe that climate denialism shouldn’t be monetized on Twitter, and that misrepresentative ads shouldn’t detract from important conversations about the climate crisis. This approach is informed by authoritative sources, like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports.”

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Elon Musk Named to Twitter Board of Directors

In a move that has sent shockwaves through Silicon Valley, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, who became Twitter’s largest shareholder Monday, will now be a member of the company’s board of directors.

“I’m excited to share that we’re appointing [Musk] to our board! Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, it became clear to us that he would bring great value to our Board,” Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said Tuesday. 

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Report: Chinese Government Changed Ending to ‘Fight Club’ so Authorities Win

China replaced the ending to the 1999 cult classic film “Fight Club” with a message saying the authorities won, BBC News reported.

The true ending of the film depicts the narrator, portrayed by Edward Norton, killing his imaginary alter ego, played by Brad Pitt, before bombs exploded, destroying buildings in the climax of a plot to change society.

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Democratic U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna Calls out Twitter for Trying to Hide Hunter Biden Laptop Story

Ro Khanna

Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna criticized Twitter and Facebook for censoring the New York Post’s story on Hunter Biden, saying the story should not have been blocked.

“I thought it was a mistake for Twitter to take down some of this stuff about Hunter Biden, or Facebook to do that,” Khanna said during an interview with Joe Lonsdale on the American Optimist podcast while promoting his book “Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us.”

The New York Post published a story in October 2020 detailing a meeting between Hunter Biden, then-Vice President Joe Biden and a top executive at Ukrainian gas company Burisma in 2015, relying on data recovered from a laptop reportedly belonging to Hunter. Shortly after the story was published, Twitter blocked users from sharing the link and suspended accounts that attempted to tweet it out.

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Joe Rogan, Rand Paul Begin Exodus from Big Tech in Mounting Backlash over Censorship

Prominent personalities including podcast host Joe Rogan and Republican Sen. Rand Paul have announced plans to leave major social media platforms amid growing backlash over censorship.

Rogan announced late Sunday that he had started an account on alternative social media site Gettr, posting remarks critical of Twitter on the platform.

“Just in case shit over at Twitter gets even dumber, I’m here now as well,” Rogan wrote. “Rejoice!”

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Commentary: Why I Stopped Donating to Harvard, My Alma Mater

The statue of John Harvard, seen at Harvard Yard

This year, for the first time since graduation some two decades ago, I did not donate to either of my alma maters. Like many of you, I have become disillusioned with the illiberalism on many college campuses and could no longer support them with an annual gift. While higher education has historically tipped to the political left, the gap has widened in recent decades. Analyzing data on faculty ideological leanings, the American Enterprise Institute reported that “in less than 30 years the ratio of liberal identifying faculty to conservative faculty had more than doubled to 5.” 

At Harvard, where I attended graduate school, the faculty political imbalance is particularly striking. According to a 2021 survey by The Harvard Crimson, the college newspaper, out of 236 faculty replies only 7 people said they are “somewhat” or “very conservative,” while 183 respondents indicated that they are “somewhat” or “very liberal.” A similar problem plagues my undergraduate college, Bowdoin. 

The absence of my meager donations won’t matter to the colleges I attended, each of which has billions of dollars in endowment money. But big alumni donors at some leading universities are using their influence to improve free thought and inquiry on college campuses. 

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Commentary: Why I Stopped Donating to Harvard, My Alma Mater

The statue of John Harvard, seen at Harvard Yard

This year, for the first time since graduation some two decades ago, I did not donate to either of my alma maters. Like many of you, I have become disillusioned with the illiberalism on many college campuses and could no longer support them with an annual gift. While higher education has historically tipped to the political left, the gap has widened in recent decades. Analyzing data on faculty ideological leanings, the American Enterprise Institute reported that “in less than 30 years the ratio of liberal identifying faculty to conservative faculty had more than doubled to 5.” 

At Harvard, where I attended graduate school, the faculty political imbalance is particularly striking. According to a 2021 survey by The Harvard Crimson, the college newspaper, out of 236 faculty replies only 7 people said they are “somewhat” or “very conservative,” while 183 respondents indicated that they are “somewhat” or “very liberal.” A similar problem plagues my undergraduate college, Bowdoin. 

The absence of my meager donations won’t matter to the colleges I attended, each of which has billions of dollars in endowment money. But big alumni donors at some leading universities are using their influence to improve free thought and inquiry on college campuses. 

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Independent Journalist Alex Berenson Sues Twitter for First Amendment Violation

Independent journalist Alex Berenson on Monday announced from his SubStack account, “Unreported Truths,” a lawsuit against Twitter for violating his First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit, which follows the social media giant banning the author from the platform, contends that multiple Twitter officials assured Berenson that he would have access to the platform, only to be kicked off later.

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Congress Wants to Make Big Tech Responsible for Online Speech

Person on space gray iPhone

While there is agreement between large factions of both Republicans and Democrats that social media companies should be liable for certain third-party content hosted on their platforms, the parties differ on what that content should be, and why platforms should be liable in the first place.

Congress appeared no closer to finding common ground following a House Energy and Commerce hearing Wednesday, in which lawmakers considered several bills seeking to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

“Wednesday’s hearing made clear that Republicans and Democrats have drastically different solutions to hold Big Tech accountable,” Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who serves as Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Republicans are fighting for free speech, while Democrats continue to push for more censorship and control. Bipartisanship will not be possible until Democrats agree that we need less censorship, not more.”

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Republicans Warn of ‘Censorship’ from ‘Radical’ New Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal

Parag Agrawal

Republican lawmakers are raising concerns that Twitter’s new Chief Executive Parag Agrawal may threaten conservative political speech on the social media platform.

Agrawal, Twitter’s former chief technology officer who was announced as CEO following Jack Dorsey’s decision to step down early Monday, has previously highlighted the perceived threat of online “misinformation,” calling to depart from free speech considerations in favor of other concerns in an interview with MIT Technology Review in November 2020.

“Our role is not to be bound by the First Amendment, but our role is to serve a healthy public conversation and our moves are reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation,” Agrawal said. “The kinds of things that we do about this is, focus less on thinking about free speech, but thinking about how the times have changed.”

Agrawal previously oversaw development efforts on Bluesky, a decentralized social media platform intended to “better control abusive and misleading information.”

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