The Biden administration was sharply criticized this year when it announced the creation of a “Disinformation Governance Board” within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to police online activity.
Although the board was ultimately disbanded, newly uncovered DHS documents show the administration has nevertheless worked to control public discourse.
Microsoft executive: “Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t”
That’s according to a report published late last month by The Intercept, which cited leaked material along with information uncovered via lawsuits.
JUST IN – Behind closed doors, the U.S. government has reportedly used its power to shape online discourse.
DHS plans to expand censorship on topics like origins of COVID, efficacy of vaccines, racial justice, Afghanistan withdrawal, and more.https://t.co/docxNlYm2n
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) October 31, 2022
Among them is a suit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who obtained minutes of meetings between social media figures and government officials.
This included a text message sent from Microsoft executive and DHS employee Matt Masterson to current DHS official Jen Easterly.
“Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t,” Masterson complained, adding, “It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain.”
Meanwhile, a draft copy of DHS’s Quadrennial Homeland Security Review laid out how the agency planned to go after “inaccurate information” regarding a range of topics.
Areas of concern were said to include “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.”
“The challenge is particularly acute in marginalized communities which are often the targets of false or misleading information, such as false information on voting procedures targeting people of color,” it added.
Facebook suppressed Hunter Biden story following FBI contact
BREAKING: Mark Zuckerberg tells Joe Rogan that Facebook algorithmically censored the Hunter Biden laptop story for 7 days based on a general request from the FBI to restrict election misinformation. pic.twitter.com/llTA7IqGa1
— Minds💡 (@minds) August 25, 2022
This is far from being the first time that troubling revelations have emerged concerning attempts by government officials to control the media.
Earlier in the year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made headlines when he told podcaster Joe Rogan that his company was contacted in 2020 by the FBI in about Russian election propaganda. This in turn led to Facebook suppressing reports about Hunter Biden’s laptop.