Journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger are testifying before the House Judiciary Committee's Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government today. Both journalists were involved in the 'Twitter Files' disclosures, in which we learned that the government was directly involved in censoring disfavorable speech.
"Our findings are shocking," writes Shellenberger at his blog. "A highly-organized network of U.S. government agencies and government contractors has been creating blacklists and pressuring social media companies to censor Americans, often without them knowing it."
Ahead of the appearance, Taibbi released his prepared remarks. He also dropped a new and related Twitter Files mega-thread on 'THE CENSORSHIP-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX' which will be submitted to the Congressional record which, according to Taibbi, 'contains some surprises.'
But Twitter was more like a partner to government. With other tech firms it held a regular “industry meeting” with FBI and DHS, and developed a formal system for receiving thousands of content reports from every corner of government: HHS, Treasury, NSA, even local police.
Emails from the FBI, DHS and other agencies often came with spreadsheets of hundreds or thousands of account names for review. Often, these would be deleted soon after.
Then we saw "disinfo" lists where evidence was even less clear. This list of 378 “Iranian State Linked Accounts” includes an Iraq vet once arrested for blogging about the war, a former Chicago Sun-Times reporter and Truthout, a site that publishes Noam Chomsky.
We came to think of this grouping – state agencies like DHS, FBI, or the Global Engagement Center (GEC), along with “NGOs that aren’t academic” and an unexpectedly aggressive partner, commercial news media – as the Censorship-Industrial Complex.