When the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shelved plans for a Disinformation Governance Board, Americans thought that was the end of any notion of an Orwellian ministry of truth censoring information from the public.
But it turned out the federal government was busy censoring stories all along, in violation of the First Amendment.
That was confirmed Friday when the FBI released a statement admitting matter-of-factly that it "routinely notifies" media outlets, including social media, of stories that may pose something it considers a threat.
Their statement came in response to an interview of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg the day before on the Joe Rogan podcast. Zuckerberg said he later regretted limiting access to any mention of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
The New York Post broke the story in October 2020, which suggested an international Biden family influence-peddling scheme that included then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
But few people knew any of the details because the FBI cautioned media outlets to stay clear of it, as Zuckerberg told Rogan.
The FBI, in turn, claimed it acted in media’s best interests. The bureau stated that it "provided companies with foreign threat indicators to help them protect their platforms and customers from abuse by foreign malign influence actors."
Zuckerberg explained that "the FBI, I think, basically came to us, [to] some folks on our team, and was like, 'Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert. … we thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump of, that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.'"
Twitter was also approached, apparently. They blocked any mention of the Post story altogether. Zuckerberg claimed to have taken more of a "free speech" approach.
"So our protocol was different from Twitter’s," Zuckerberg said. "What Twitter did is they said, 'You can’t share this at all.' We didn’t do that. What we do is we have — if something is reported to us as potentially misinformation, important misinformation.
"We also have a third-party fact-checking program. We don’t want to be deciding what’s true and false. And for the, I think it was, five or seven days when it was basically being determined whether it was false — the distribution on Facebook was decreased, but people were still allowed to share it."
But Facebook pushed the story far enough downstream in its newsfeed that it was unlikely anyone would pick it up. Although private entities like Facebook and Twitter are exempt from the First Amendment guarantees, government may not use them as its proxy to limit free speech and press.
That issue came up in July 2021 when then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki openly admitted that the White House was "flagging" posts that they wanted social media platforms to censor over what it considered as COVID "misinformation."
"We are in regular touch with the social media platforms and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff and also members of our COVID-19 team — given as Dr. Murthy conveyed, this is a big issue, of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic," Psaki told reporters.
"We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s Office. We are flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”She added, “it’s important to take faster action against harmful posts … and Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove harmful violative posts."
The Post reported that former President Trump filed lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, arguing that they were censoring speech on behalf of the government.
In addition to the apparent First Amendment free speech violations, Newsmax TV’s Greg Kelly brought up another concern, at least as it related to squelching the Hunter Biden story.
"Talk about election interference!" said Kelly Sunday, and recent polls confirm that he was spot on.
The New York Post reported Friday that 79% of Americans say “truthful” coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop would have changed the 2020 election results, and 81% believe Attorney General Merrick Garland should appoint a special counsel to investigate the infamous "Laptop from Hell."
The less government does to "help" us the better.
The larger and more unwieldy it becomes, the more difficult it is to control.
At an August 1986 press conference then-President Ronald Reagan quipped, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are 'I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'"
Although intended as humor, it contained a wealth of wisdom. We want government to fight our wars, protect our borders and administer our laws. We can pretty much take care of the rest ourselves.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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