- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The political left has been dwelling comfortably in a bubble of thought conformity, shielded from competing influence by an incestuous relationship between Big Tech and Big Government. With the release of the so-called Twitter Files, Elon Musk has popped the bubble. The arrangement now exposed, Americans are learning how subversion of the Constitution’s guarantee of free expression has destabilized the foundations of the nation. A reckoning is due.

Most appalling to lovers of liberty are revelations of the incestuous relations Twitter practiced with Washington officialdom prior to Mr. Musk’s October purchase of the social media platform. Independent journalists Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss and Michael Shellenberger, tapped by the new owner to shine lights on Twitter’s censorship practices, thus far have revealed shady content moderation practices that included the blacklisting of conservatives. Worse, they have exposed the existence of furtive channels to like-minded enemies of then-President Donald Trump in the nation’s top law enforcement agencies during the 2020 presidential election campaign.

In a Friday installment, Mr. Taibbi points out a jarring tweet written by Twitter head of trust and safety Yoel Roth. Reading “Weekly sync with FBI /DHS/DNI re: election security,” the message alerted colleagues to regular confabs with officials from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the office of the director of national intelligence.

Twitter held “election security” deliberations over a tweet Mr. Trump posted in October 2020 in which he labeled a news story about 50,000 incorrect ballots mailed out in Ohio as evidence of “a rigged election.” Employees concluded the tweet was “factually correct.” Nevertheless, they arranged for the president to be “visibility filtered,” which Mr. Taibbi describes to mean “a fairly anodyne Trump tweet couldn’t be ‘replied to, shared, or liked.’” A congratulatory message of “very well done on speed” indicated seat-of-the-pants handling of a consequential First Amendment issue.

In a Saturday exposé, Mr. Shellenberger recounts internal discussions following Trump supporters’ Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol over whether “Twitter needs to remain consistent in its policies, including the right of users to return to Twitter after a temporary suspension.” In the end, CEO Jack Dorsey gave in to pressure to create a new permanent ban policy in order to silence Mr. Trump. Mr. Shellenberger quotes Mr. Roth’s excited message to colleagues: “‘Guess what,’ he writes. “‘Jack just approved repeat offender for civic integrity.’”

Thus concluded a lengthy series of discussions within the anti-Trump echo chamber that ended with the unprecedented permanent Twitter ban — or censorship — of a sitting U.S. president.

The “Twitter Files” expose how leftists in Big Tech and Big Government have colluded and canoodled to trap Americans in a bubble of thought conformity. With countervailing views from the right blocked, narrow-minded anti-Americanism is transforming the nation into an angry maelstrom of political and criminal violence unrecognizable to those who love it.

When Republicans assume control of the House of Representatives in January, they should identify and sanction government officials who coordinated with social media censors to filter, suppress and silence views they dislike. The First Amendment must prevail in “the land of the free.”

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