Hammer: Biden Is Marshaling Big Tech Into a Vast New Censorship Empire


On Thursday, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is also the Show Me State’s candidate for U.S. Senate this November, unveiled some very interesting documents that his office, along with the office of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, have received since the two states jointly filed a potentially pathbreaking lawsuit in May.

Their lawsuit alleges that various high-ranking Biden administration officials have been colluding, in censorious fashion, with the purportedly “private” oligarchs of Big Tech.

The straightforward aim of this collusion is the suppression of the dissident “wrongthink” — viz., conservative speech — that threatens the Biden regime’s tenuous grasp on power.

The documents Schmitt and Landry received shine a spotlight on the depths to which the Biden regime has fallen to collapse any putative distinction between the “public” and “private” sectors.

Their findings thus far in the still-pending litigation reveal to all, as if we needed more evidence but a week after Mark Zuckerberg’s podcast confession heard ’round the world, the extent to which Big Tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter no longer qualify as meaningfully “private” and have instead simply become appendages of the state.

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According to Schmitt, the Biden Department of Justice has, since Missouri and Louisiana’s lawsuit was filed, identified 45 federal officials who have “interacted with social media companies on misinformation.” What’s more, Meta (Facebook’s parent company) pinpointed 32 additional Biden functionaries with whom it communicated, and YouTube (a Google product) identified 11 such flunkies.

Overall, the emails obtained by Schmitt and Landry evince, as Schmitt says, “a vast censorship enterprise.”

The findings include the revelation that Facebook and the Biden administration arranged weekly and monthly phone calls to discuss what Facebook should be censoring. Those emails, from late July 2021, happen to be dated just a couple of weeks after then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki criticized social media platforms for not doing enough to stifle “misinformation,” and President Joe Biden criticized them for “killing people.” What curious timing!

Is the Biden administration working to censor dissenting speech?

Other emails confirm that Biden administration actors and agencies as wide-ranging as the surgeon general, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency were all in communication with some combination of Google, Facebook and Twitter.

In every instance, the goal was the same: to censor “misinformation,” and to constrain the regime’s Overton window of permissible civilian opinion formation so as to penalize the citizenry’s (well-earned) suspicion of the regime’s proffered narratives. As Saul Alinsky said, after all, “he who controls the language controls the masses.”

Schmitt’s revelations come just two weeks after Vivek Ramaswamy and Jed Rubenfeld, in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, compellingly demonstrated the extent to which the Biden administration directed Twitter to ban Alex Berenson, a notable skeptic of regime orthodoxy when it came to the COVID-era biomedical security state.

And in the interim, in the brief time between that Journal Op-Ed and the unveiling of love letters between Zuckerberg’s hucksters and Biden’s nomenklatura, came perhaps the biggest revelation of all.

On Aug. 25, Zuckerberg himself confided to podcast host Joe Rogan on air that America’s Stasi — sorry, FBI — warned Facebook in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election about the threat of “Russian misinformation,” effectively commandeering Facebook to algorithmically penalize, and generally conceal, the New York Post’s October 2020 bombshell story about Hunter Biden’s infamous “laptop from hell.”

Some polls have indicated that as many as 1 in 6 Biden voters would have changed their vote in 2020 if they had known the full extent of the Post’s reporting on Hunter’s laptop. Given how narrow Biden’s margins of victory were in the states that gave him his Electoral College majority, Big Tech’s censorship was all but assuredly dispositive.

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Big Tech gave Biden the election, and Big Tech now does Biden’s dirty work for him.

These technology platforms, in short, have proven themselves not to be “private” actors in any meaningful sense of the term. They are now direct appendages of the state, and they must be constitutionally treated and regulated as such.

At the state level, that means requiring Big Tech to embrace viewpoint neutrality and refrain from censoring conservative or otherwise dissenting viewpoints, as Texas did in a recently enacted law that is currently winding its way through the federal courts. Applying a First Amendment speech standard to Big Tech is manifestly fair — and simply bespeaks the reality of what these platforms have become.

At the federal level, that means amending our byzantine corpus of civil rights law to add protections for political viewpoints, as well as statutorily clarifying that platforms such as Facebook are common carriers or having the FCC unilaterally regulate them as such. There is absolutely no reason why Facebook, for example, should now be regulated any differently than phone companies and internet service providers.

It is bitterly ironic that the Biden regime, which has recently taken to denouncing so-called MAGA Republicans as “semi-fascists,” has so accelerated the collapse of any distinction between the “public” and the “private.” Such a merging of the state and corporate spheres into a disfigured blob, historically speaking, is a hallmark of actual fascism.

In the year 2022, such naked public-private collusion represents the single biggest threat facing the American way of life. We must respond to that threat accordingly.


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Josh Hammer is the opinion editor of Newsweek, a research fellow with the Edmund Burke Foundation, counsel and policy advisor for the Internet Accountability Project ad a contributing writer for American Compass.