The days when one had to be afraid to write about covid on social networks are long gone. But some do not want to let this time be forgotten. For example, the non-profit organization America First legal, associated with former President Trump. She is suing other organizations for conspiring with the state to practice censorship, thereby violating the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Another entity was recently added to the lawsuit, the often mentioned Aspen Institute. According to the Twitter Files, one of his staffers was holding a training session on how to deal with “false information” about Hunter Biden. Even before they were published.
Description: Censorship, illustration photo
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As most people still remember, during the covid-19 pandemic there was unprecedented censorship of social networks. Posts about covid, vaccinations and alternative treatments for this disease were sometimes deleted, other times they were “restricted in reach” or were automatically provided with a postscript to inform people about covid on the WHO website. Which people got around by speaking in hints, for example, instead of using the word vaccination, which automatically attracted the attention of the algorithms, they used “spotting”.
The so-called Twitter Files, i.e. a series of published excerpts from the correspondence of Twitter employees (now X) and government officials, tell how the state, as well as private institutions, tried to get social networks to delete posts about covid. In addition to covid, posts questioning the results of the American elections in 2020 were also targeted. Perhaps the most famous case of censorship, when it was proven that provably true information was censored, was Hunter Biden’s laptop. The New York Post released this information in 2020, during the election campaign. Twitter then suspended the newspaper’s account and at the same time deleted all posts that linked to this article. It later turned out that the information from the laptop was real.
Some do not want to leave the unprecedented censorship alone. The nonprofit America First Legal is suing people behind the Election Integrity Partnership and the Virality Project for conspiring with the state to enforce massive online censorship. According to the lawsuit, those in question tried to censor legitimate political opinions about the 2020 elections, that is, doubts about their results, but also about covid and measures against it.
Photogallery: – On the flea
He also accuses the US government of punctuating this “surveillance” to circumvent the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech. AFL president Stephen Miller sees the lawsuit as a breakthrough in the fight against the “censorship-industrial complex”.
Other entities have recently been included in the lawsuit. Among other things, the well-known Aspen Institute. Journalist Michael Shellenberger found out from the aforementioned Twitter Files that the Aspen Institute organized an “exercise” on how to proceed in such a case even before the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop were revealed. This exercise allegedly took place in September 2020, the New York Post did not publish its findings until October. And it was attended by Twitter’s head of “trust and safety”, Facebook’s head of security, as well as national security reporters from the Washington Post and the New York Times.
The exercise is said to have lasted eleven days and its purpose was to release allegedly false documents regarding Hunter Biden’s work for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. According to Shellenberg, the goal of the exercise was to decide in advance how social networks will react to the case. And when the article came out, three days later, journalist Garrett Graff sent a message to other participants saying, “Stephen was right.” It was not known who Stephen was.
The exercise, according to Shellenberg, was organized by Vivian Schiller, who previously worked at NPR, NBC and the New York Times. From January 2020, he heads the digital branch of the Aspen Institute.
Vivian Schiller, head of the digital arm of the Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is funded, among others, by the Open Society founded by George Soros and also by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. From 2003 to 2020, she sent the Aspen Institute 101 million dollars (2.3 billion crowns at today’s exchange rate).
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author: Karel Šebesta
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