The agency used its influence at Twitter to unconstitutionally crush free speech, retired congressman Ron Paul argues
The FBI used proprietary backchannels at Twitter to infringe on Americans’ First Amendment rights and should be “abolished,” former US Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul stated on Monday.
While Twitter has previously skirted accusations of violating Americans’ right to free speech by arguing it is a private corporation, Paul pointed out that recently released internal communications between employees of the social media giant and government officials in the FBI and other agencies confirm the platform was acting as a surrogate of the state.
“Now we have proof that the FBI (along with US intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security) have been acting through ‘private’ social media companies to manipulate what Americans are allowed to say when they communicate with each other,” the former Texas congressman wrote in his weekly column for his website, the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
“We do not need the FBI and CIA and other federal agencies viewing us as the enemy and attacking our Constitution. End the Fed…and end the Federal Bureau of Investigation!” Paul concluded, referencing his long-standing call to liquidate the US’ privately-held central bank.
FBI agents emailed Twitter Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth about 150 times between 2020 and 2022, according to internal communications released by platform CEO Elon Musk earlier this month, with most messages involving requests for censorship. However, even as Musk was releasing the Twitter documents, former FBI general counsel turned Twitter lawyer Jim Baker was ‘vetting’ the messages, allegedly without Musk’s knowledge. When this was brought to the billionaire’s attention, Baker was dismissed – but not before he had reshaped the narrative.
Twitter has reportedly hired dozens of FBI agents and other intelligence and military veterans in recent years, raising questions about the platform’s impartiality even before a lawsuit filed by the Missouri and Louisiana attorneys general revealed earlier this year that employees were regularly meeting with representatives of US government agencies to coordinate the banning and suppression of certain accounts and narratives.
While Paul questioned the media’s failure to make the Twitter Files the scandal that he felt they deserved, he was encouraged by a recent survey showing 70% of Americans believe Congress must take action to end collusion between Big Tech and Big Brother.
The FBI said in a statement released following the publication of the Twitter Files that the agency “regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert or criminal activities.” It added that “private sector entities independently make decisions about what, if any, action they take on their platforms and for their customers after the FBI has notified them.”
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