Twitter has ramped up its censorship of speech in the lead up the presidential election, including locking the accounts of the New York Post, the White House press secretary, and most recently the Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan for a tweet about the border wall.
Although Morgan’s account was eventually unlocked amid the uproar, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey demanding he stop his platform’s censorship, Breitbart reported.
Wolf’s letter demanded that Dorsey’s platform immediately stop censoring administration officials and accused Twitter’s repeated actions and clear display of bias as having endangered national security and hampered an open public discourse about vital issues.
A “disturbing” act of censorship
“Not only was Twitter’s act of censorship unjustified — the tweet is supported by data — it is disturbing,” Wolf wrote in the letter to Dorsey on Friday.
He then shared the tweet responsible for Morgan’s account being locked: “CBP & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continue to build new wall every day. Every mile helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It’s a fact, walls work.” Wolf noted how this had somehow “triggered” the platform’s moderators.
“The fact that the tweet was removed and the account locked is startling. It is hard to understand how anyone believed Mr. Morgan’s tweet promoted violence, threats or harassment. Especially considering that the facts about the border wall system support the tweet,” Wolf wrote.
The acting secretary then proceeded to note that CBP and DHS regularly arrest violent criminals at the border, rescues women and girls from cross-border sex traffickers, intercepts illicit drugs and contraband, and defends the integrity of the border and the nation. “Your company may choose to be ignorant of these facts, but it is no less censorship when you choose to suppress them,” Wolf said.
Called out over blatant lies and overt bias
Wolf asserted that aside from “ideological disagreement,” there was no legitimate reason to censor Morgan’s tweet, and argued that the censoring of “U.S. government officials also endangers the national security” and was “dangerous and damaging” to public discourse for the platform to “cut off an essential mode of communication between U.S. Government officials and the public.”
The acting secretary also called Twitter out over a blatant lie it had disseminated to the American people, namely that what had happened was an accident and that Morgan’s account had been restored quickly following an appeal, an excuse that had been published by Politico and was included in a footnote in Wolf’s letter.
Wolf argued that the censorship had obviously been intentional, and pointed out that Morgan’s appeal had actually been denied and the account had only been unlocked following a public outcry.
“I call on you to commit to never again censoring content on your platform and obstructing Americans’ unalienable right to communicate with each other and with their government and its officials, including the thousands of law enforcement officers at the DHS who work vigilantly and diligently to protect your safety every day,” Wolf concluded.
This was an appropriate, overdue, and well-deserved roasting of Dorsey. The secretary is absolutely correct to insist that a social media platform like Twitter, which purports to be neutral and unbiased and not a publisher, simply cannot engage in censorship, least of all of federal government officials.