Below is my column in The Hill on the recent disclosures in the “Twitter Files” on the coordination of censorship between the company and both Biden and Democratic party operatives. Beyond personally attacking Elon Musk and Matt Taibbi, many have resorted to the same old saw of censorship apologists: it is not censorship if the…Censorship by Surrogate: Why Musk’s Document Dump Could be a Game Changer — JONATHAN TURLEY
Another excellent analysis from professor of law Jonathan Turley. He concludes in his article in The Hill.:
‘..The implications of these documents becomes more serious once the Biden campaign became the Biden administration. These documents show a back channel existed with President Biden’s campaign officials, but those same back channels appear to have continued to be used by Biden administration officials. If so, that would be when Twitter may have gone from a campaign ally to a surrogate for state censorship. As I have previously written, the administration cannot censor critics and cannot use agents for that purpose under the First Amendment.
That is precisely what Musk is now alleging. As the documents were being released, he tweeted, “Twitter acting by itself to suppress free-speech is not a 1st amendment violation, but acting under orders from the government to suppress free-speech, with no judicial review, is.” [Emphasis RB]
The incoming Republican House majority has pledged to investigate — and Musk has made that process far easier by making good on his pledge of full transparency.
Washington has fully mobilized in its all-out war against Musk. Yet, with a record number of users signing up with Twitter, it seems clear the public is not buying censorship. They want more, not less, free speech.
That may be why political figures such as Hillary Clinton have enlisted foreign governments to compel the censoring of fellow citizens: If Twitter can’t be counted on to censor, perhaps the European Union will be the ideal surrogate to rid social media of these meddlesome posters.
The release of these documents has produced a level of exposure rarely seen in Washington, where such matters usually are simply “handled.” The political and media establishments generally are unstoppable forces — but they may have met their first immovable object in Musk.’