RESTORING ONLINE FREE SPEECH AND SHUTTING DOWN THE CENSORSHIP INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

RESTORING ONLINE FREE SPEECH AND SHUTTING DOWN THE CENSORSHIP INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

  • December 13, 2023

Curtis M. Schube, J.D. Gary Lawkowski, J.D., The Council to Modernize Governance

The emergence of social media platforms has offered an unprecedented shift in modern American speech and debate regarding sensitive political and social topics to the internet. While platforms such as Facebook and Twitter (now “X”) give everyday Americans an opportunity to publicly share and debate their opinions on hot-button issues online, until recently little was known about how these platforms moderated content. Information revealed by lawsuits, public information, and Congressional investigations requests has made it increasingly apparent that federal actors have overstepped their bounds in pressuring tech platforms to censor Americans online.

Watchdog groups like the Foundation for Freedom Online, America First Legal, and Protect the Public’s Trust, as well as several congressional committees, have dug further into the censorship industrial complex. This intricate network involves government agencies utilizing taxpayer funds and repurposing existing programs to spearhead a censorship industry. The resulting collaboration to censor Americans, deputized by the federal government, involves universities, private firms, and think tanks working closely with federal actors to threaten, pressure, and cajole major tech platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube) to suppress narratives that dissent from the official narratives advanced by the government.

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