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August 12, 2022

Alex Berenson: The White House Specifically Demanded That Twitter Ban Me.
And Then Twitter Did.

National Review and the various on-the-take Conservative, Inc. undisclosed Google and FaceBook lobbyists will ignore this.

Biden Administration officials asked Twitter to ban me because of my tweets questioning the Covid vaccines, even as company employees believed I had followed Twitter's rules, internal Twitter communications reveal.

In a White House meeting in April 2021, four months before Twitter suspended my account, the company faced "one really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn't been kicked off from the platform," a Twitter employee wrote.

The employee recounted the meeting discussion afterwards on Twitter's internal Slack messaging system. The message, and others, make clear that top federal officials targeted me specifically, potentially violating my basic First Amendment right to free speech.

The First Amendment does not apply to private companies like Twitter. But if the companies are acting on behalf of the federal government they can become "state actors" that must allow free speech and debate, just as the government does.

Previous efforts to file state action lawsuits against the government and social media companies for working together to ban users have failed. Courts have universally held that people who have been banned have not shown the specific demands from government officials that are necessary to support state action claims.

In my case, though, federal officials appear to have gone far beyond generically encouraging Twitter to support Covid vaccines or discourage "misinformation" (i.e. information that the government does not like).

Instead, top officials targeted me personally.

Andrew Slavitt, senior advisor to President Biden's Covid response team, complained specifically about me, according to a Twitter employee in another Slack conversation discussing the White House meeting.

"They really wanted to know about Alex Berenson," the employee wrote. "Andy Slavitt suggested they had seen data viz [visualization] that had showed he was the epicenter of disinfo that radiated outwards to the persuadable public."

By the way: Andy Slavitt's idea of "disinformation" is the right-wing claim that monkeypox is primarily spread by gay men having gay sex, a "myth" he was recently attempting to pressure people to stop spreading on social media.

andyslavitt.jpg

So you can see, he's a real Science and Health Nut, and does not permit his politics to influence his scientific analyses whatsoever.

So we should definitely have him in charge of our National State-Imposed Censorship Boards.

According to an interview he gave to the Washington Post in June 2021, Slavitt worked directly with the most powerful officials in the federal government, including Ron Klain, President Biden's chief of staff, and Biden himself.

The Slack conversations also show the pressure Twitter employees felt internally to respond to the government's questions about whether the company was doing enough to suppress "misinformation" about Covid and the vaccines. An employee writes that the questions at the meeting were "pointed" but "mercifully, we had answers."

From Twitter's intracompany Slack channel:

whberenson1.jpg

25a1767a-09de-4c85-8f11-ce0c33273200_640x336.jpg

Meanwhile, via Ed Morrisssey at Hot Air (which I can now link more freely, given that BulwarkPundit is leaving), Twitter -- a monopoly in the business of microblogging -- just coincidentally banned another reporter critical of the administration.

I wonder what conversations the White House might have had with Twitter about Paul Sperry? He's had a lot of embarrassing scoops about them.

Twitter continued to crackdown on dissenting political views this week with the permanent suspension of columnist and commentator Paul Sperry. The suspension came down after Sperry allegedly tweeted about the FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago. Sperry said that Twitter gave "No warning, no explanation, reason given." That is a signature for the company, which has little transparency or ability to challenge such private censorship.

Twitter has a long and documented history of suspending those with dissenting political, social, or scientific views, particularly before major elections. Sperry says that he tweeted the following:

Funny, don't remember the FBI raiding Chappaqua or Whitehaven to find the 33,000 potential classified documents Hillary Clinton deleted. And she was just a former secretary of state, not a former president.

DEVELOPING: Investigators reportedly met back in June w Trump & his lawyers in Mar-a-Lago storage rm to survey docs & things seemed copasetic but then FBI raids weeks later. Speculation on Hill FBI had PERSONAL stake & searching for classified docs related to its #Spygate scandal.

Sperry went on to note that "the current deputy general counsel at Twitter is also the former general counsel at FBI HQ under Comey. His name as you may know is James Baker, and he was the top attorney who reviewed the fraudulent anti-Trump FISA wiretap warrants for probable cause."

Obviously, all of those points can be -- and have been contested -- by others. However, that is the point. Social media should be a place for the exchange of viewpoints as part of our national dialogue on controversies like the Mar-a-Lago raid. Twitter, however, has long dispensed with any pretense of neutrality in limiting such discussion to fit its own corporate agenda.

Its own corporate agenda -- and also the agenda urged on it by a censorship-crazed government.

The undisclosed Google and FaceBook lobbyists scream bloody murder when Josh Hawley proposes adjusting the Community Decency Act to require political neutrality in moderation for monopoly or near-monopoly-sized platforms only, but when their Silicon Daddies are caught repeatedly taking direct orders from a leftwing White House about which conservatives and which dissenters to ban, the "Muh Corporations" Cartel can't be f***ed to say a thing.

All Green Lights from the National Review MuhCorporations Smart Set on this? You guys don't even want to sound a warning horn to your MuhCorporations buds at Google at FaceBook to stop having these private confabs with the government where they receive their orders as censorship deputies? You don't even want to instruct the White House you supposedly oppose to stop imposing censorship through third-party deputy corporations?

Rich Lowry? AEI "Fellow" Ramesh Ponuru?

You're supporters of this? No problem with it? Weird, National Review has previously been against "public-private partnerships" to accomplish what the government is forbidden from doing, and corporate fascism generally. I guess now you've "evolved" on this issue, as you've evolved on so many other issues.

Do you have any idea how this looks when you all collectively pretend you all "didn't see these stories" each and every time they appear?

Do you know what conclusions people are drawing about your integrity?

And not just the editors -- all of the writers who very conspicuously refuse to cross Google and FaceBook, but then wear National Review's legacy like a skinsut and demand respect.

If you want to defend this, then defend this. Earn your Google money.

But stop pretending "We were absent from work the entire year and a half the Biden Administration was openly pressuring the social media companies to deplatform conservative writers and dissenting covid researchers and scientists."

Start writing The Conservative Case for "Public-Private Partnerships" to Create Compassionate Censorship Codes to Safeguard's America's Purity of Thought.


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posted by Ace at 03:20 PM

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