FreeSpeech and Censorship: Thread

grarpamp grarpamp at
Thu Feb 16 20:50:38 PST 2023

Jordan Subpoenas Big Tech CEOs In House 'Weaponization' Probe

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) says he has
subpoenaed the CEOs of top U.S. Big Tech firms as part of Republicans’
ongoing investigation into the weaponization of the federal
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Judiciary
Committee, delivers remarks during a business meeting prior to a
hearing on U.S. southern border security on Capitol Hill in Washington
on Feb. 1, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In November, House Republicans unveiled a 1,050-page report detailing
whistleblower findings from FBI agents.

Since then, the House majority authorized the creation of the House
Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government,
which held its inaugural hearing on Feb. 9.

Now, Jordan has sent subpoena requests to several major tech
executives asking for documents and testimony.

“Today, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan subpoenaed the chief
executive officers of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft for
documents and communications relating to the federal government’s
reported collusion with Big Tech to suppress free speech,” Jordan’s
office said in a statement emailed to the Epoch Times.

“The House Judiciary Committee has repeatedly attempted to engage with
the five companies since last December,” the release continues.
“Unfortunately, the companies have not adequately complied with our

Jordan was referencing a series of Dec. 14, 2022, letters his office
sent to various tech executives.

The CEOs—Alphabet’s (Google) Sundar Pichai, Amazon’s Andy Jassy,
Apple’s Tim Cook, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Microsoft’s Satya
Nadella—have until March 23 to provide any communications between them
and the federal government’s executive branch on the subject.

“Big Tech is out to get conservatives, and is increasingly willing to
undermine First Amendment values by complying with the Biden
Administration’s directives that suppress freedom of speech online,”
Jordan wrote, in excerpts from the letter to the executives posted to
his website.

“This approach undermines fundamental American principles and allows
powerful government actors to silence political opponents and stifle
opposing viewpoints,” he continued. “Publicly available information
suggests that your companies’ treatment of certain speakers and
content may stem from government directives or guidance designed to
suppress dissenting views.

“Big Tech’s role in shaping national and international public
discourse today is well-known. In some cases, Big Tech’s ‘heavy-handed
censorship’ has been ‘use[d] to silence prominent voices’ and to
‘stifle views that disagree with the prevailing progressive

“Because of Big Tech’s wide reach, it can serve as a powerful and
effective partisan arm of the ‘woke speech police.’ Although the full
extent of Big Tech’s collusion with the Biden Administration is
unknown, there are prominent examples and strong indications of Big
Tech censorship following directives or pressure from executive branch

“These examples raise serious concerns about how and why tech
companies suppress, silence, or reduce the reach of certain political
speech and speakers. The collusion of Big Tech and Big Government to
advance censorship undeniably undermines liberty and jeopardizes our
country’s First Amendment values and protections.”

Jordan cited long-held concerns among conservatives that their
viewpoints are disproportionately stifled on social media platforms
through outright bans, removal of certain posts, and “shadow banning,”
which dramatically reduce a person’s reach on most social media

President Donald Trump considered the issue a concern as early as
2019, and attempted at the end of his presidency to gut the legal
liability protections currently enjoyed by Big Tech platforms.

With Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and the release of documents
from the platform’s previous management, it’s become clear that these
concerns were well-founded, and have been proven that the firms were
engaging in censorship of certain viewpoints.

Read more here...

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