Twitter Back-Channeled With CDC To Coordinate Censorship

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

There is a funny thing about Conspiracy theories lately. Has anyone noticed? They are being exposed as actual events and authentic points of data. Isn’t that interesting?

Evidence has emerged that the Center For Disease Control (CDC) did in fact, work with social media to censor speech based on politics. The report surfaces at the same time Anthony Fauci resigns from his position with the government.

Many people have long suspected the problems:

“Over the course of 110 pages in a federal complaint, that one descriptive word seemed to stand out among the exchanges between social media executives and public health officials on censoring public viewpoints,” reported Jonathon Turley. “Tricky.”

“The exchange reveals long-suspected coordination between the government and these social media companies to manage a burgeoning censorship system,”Tler Durden wrote for Zero Hedge.

“Twitter just reportedly suspended another doctor who sought to raise concerns over Pfizer Covid records. Former New York Times science reporter Alex Berenson is also suing Twitter over his suspension after raising dissenting views to the CDC. In the meantime, Twitter is rolling out new procedures to combat “misinformation” in the upcoming elections — a move that has some of us skeptical.

The recently disclosed exchange between defendant Carol Crawford, the CDC’s Chief of digital media, revealed a back channel with Twitter and other companies to censor “unapproved opinions” on social media.

The “tricky” part may be due to the fact that, during that week of March 25, 2021, then CEO Jack Dorsey was testifying on such censorship before Congress and insisting that “we don’t have a censoring department,” Turley wrote.

“It seems that any meeting on systemic censorship with the government would have to wait until after Dorsey denied that such systemic censorship,” Durden wrote.

According to Turley’s report:

The exchange is part of the evidence put forward by leading doctors who are alleging a systemic private-government effort to censor dissenting scientific or medial views.

The lawsuit filed by Missouri and Louisiana has joined experts, including Drs. Jayanta Bhattacharya (Stanford University) and Martin Kulldorff (Harvard University). Bhattacharya objected this week to the suspension of Dr. Clare Craig after she raised concerns about Pfizer trial documents.

Those doctors were the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocated for a more focused Covid response that targeted the most vulnerable population rather than widespread lockdowns and mandates.

Many are now questioning the efficacy and cost of the massive lockdown as well as the real value of masks or the rejection of natural immunities as an alternative to vaccination. Yet, these experts and others were attacked for such views just a year ago. Some found themselves censored on social media for challenging claims of Dr. Fauci and others.

Fauci is accused of quickly scuttling such discussion and critics point to his own alleged approval of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab.

Fauci and other leading experts now admit that the lab theory is a real possibility, even if they do not agree that it is the best explanation.

Social media companies like Facebook declared that the previously banned “conspiracy theory” would now be allowed to be discussed.

Yet, some in the media continued to push the media to avoid discussing it. The New York Times science writer Apoorva Mandavilli declared theory “racist” even as Fauci and others were saying that it is now considered a possible explanation.

Indeed, many of the views that the media attacked as conspiracy theories or debunked are now again being seriously considered. That includes claims of adverse responses to the vaccines, natural immunity protection, and the psychological costs from masking or isolation, particularly among children.

None of these views are inviolate or beyond question — any more than the official accounts were at the time. Rather, they were systemically “disappeared” from social media – pushed to the far extremes of public and academic discourse.

That brings us back to the “tricky” part.

The request for the meeting was made on March 18, 2021.

That week, Dorsey and other CEOs were to appear at a House hearing to discuss “misinformation” on social media and their “content modification” policies.

I had just testified on private censorship in circumventing the First Amendment as a type of censorship by surrogate. Dorsey and the other CEOs were asked about my warning of a “little brother problem, a problem which private entities do for the government which it cannot legally do for itself.”

Dorsey insisted that there was no such censorship office or effort.

The new lawsuit sheds new light on that testimony. It now appears that the CDC was actively feeding disapproved viewpoints to these companies, including a list of tweets that the CDC regarded as misinformation.

In one email, Twitter senior manager for public policy Todd O’Boyle asked Crawford to help identify tweets to be censored and emphasized that the company was “looking forward to setting up regular chats.”

Facebook also received lists of “offensive” posts to be “dealt with.” Facebook trained government officials in using its “CrowdTangle” system used by “health departments [to] flag potential vaccine misinformation” to allow the company to review and possibly remove it.

It added that “this is similar to how governments and fact-checkers use CrowdTangle ahead of elections….”

The “tricky” part for the public is how to deal with the circumvention of the First Amendment in a system of censorship by surrogates. Outsourcing the suppression of opposing views threatens the same core values in our government.

Just as the CDC overstepped its bounds in mandatory moratoriums on evictions, it should not be allowed to exercise control over free speech, directly or indirectly. It’s mandate to ensure “a Healthy World–Through Prevention” should not apply to unhealthy thoughts.

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