Republican Jim Jordan claims there was a ‘cozy relationship’ between the government and Big Tech and claims FBI schemed to censor Hunter’s laptop in hearing with Twitter Files journalists
- ‘Never thought in my life that in my country, freedom of speech would be under such an attack as has been done here,’ said journalist Michael Shellenberger
- ‘The Internet is an instrument of censorship and control, and our government seems to be playing a central role,’ said Matt Taibbi in opening statements
- It’s digital McCarthyism’ Taibbi told the committee about government censorship
The House panel probing the “weaponization” of the federal government reported in the ‘Twitter Files’ kicked off with a fiery start on Thursday as the Republican lead hearing kicked off with a series of sniping attacks between Rep. Jim Jordan and the ranking member, Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Island).
The witnesses, including Substack journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, were given access by Elon Musk to review ‘voluminous’ amounts of Twitter’s internal communications on possible working relationships between social media companies and government agencies.
In his opening statement, Taibbi told the panel that he attracted intense public interest when the first ‘Twitter Files’ reports came out.
‘My computer looked like a slot machine as just the first tweet about the blockage of the Hunter Biden laptop story registered 143 million impressions and 30 million engagements.
Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, speaks during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, Feb. 9, 2023, in Washington
Independent journalist Matt Taibbi testifies before the House committee about the “Twitter Files”
Taibbi got the attention of millions with the first installment focusing on Twitter’s internal discussions leading them to censor the Hunter Biden laptop during the 2020 presidential election, as some officials tried to explain it violated its ‘hacked materials’ policies.
‘We learned Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other companies developed a formal system for taking in moderation “requests” from every corner of government: the FBI, DHS, HHS, DOD, the Global Engagement Center at State, even the CIA.’
Taibbi wrote, ‘Undeniably, making such lists is a form of digital McCarthyism.’
‘We just saw this with the Covid lab-leak theory. Many of the institutions we’re now investigating initially labeled the idea that Covid came from a lab “disinformation” and conspiracy theory. Now apparently even the FBI takes it seriously. ‘
‘The First Amendment, and an American population accustomed to the right to speak, is the best defense left against the Censorship-Industrial Complex,’ he wrote.
‘If there’s anything the Twitter Files show, it’s that we’re in danger of losing this most precious right, without which all other democratic rights are impossible.’
This story will be updated.