The December Harvard CAPS Harris Poll is out this week and Mark Penn and his colleagues have some interesting results to share. Despite the refusal of many in the media to cover the Twitter files, nearly two-thirds of voters believe Twitter shadow-banned users and engaged in political censorship during the 2020 election. 70 percent of voters want new national laws protecting users from corporate censorship.
This week, the media continued to fulfill that common view of a de facto state media by ignoring new evidence of FBI coordination in censorship targets with Twitter in the latest news blackout.
On Friday, Twitter released additional information showing that the FBI and CIA actively pushed for censorship, supplying lists of accounts to be suspended or banned.
Journalist Matt Taibbi described Twitter as acting as a “subsidiary” of the FBI and wrote that “between January 2020 and November 2022, there were over 150 emails between the FBI and former Twitter Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth.”
The evidence continues to establish a system of censorship by surrogate or proxy.While the First Amendment applies to the government and not private corporations generally, it does apply to agents or surrogates of the government. Twitter now admits that such a relationship existed between its former officials and the government.
Once again, however, the major networks and newspapers have largely ignored the story. There has been a full mobilization of media, political, and business interests against Elon Musk and Twitter to oppose the restoration of free speech protections at the company. The media is heavily invested in suppressing this story after years of denials of any problems of censorship. Previously, they denied censorship was occurring. When such censorship became obvious, they denied that there was any involvement of the FBI and the government. Now that such involvement is confirmed, they are simply not covering the story.