Congress is Set to Expose What May be the Largest Censorship System in U.S. History

Below is my column in the Hill on the first hearings this week to be held by the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. It could be one of the most consequential investigations for free speech in decades if it pulls back the curtain on government censorship programs. After the historic release of the Twitter Files by Elon Musk, questions remain on any similar coordination with other social media companies with federal agencies like the FBI to target views considered “disinformation” or “misinformation.”

Here is the column:

This coming week a new House select subcommittee will hold its first hearing on the FBI and the possible “weaponization” of government agencies. A variety of such controversies have contributed to plunging public trust in government and the FBI in particular.

The role of the FBI in prior scandals will remain a point of heated debate in Congress. However, members of both parties should be able to agree on the need to investigate one of the most serious allegations: Censorship by surrogate.

Many of the allegations of FBI bias are worthy of investigation. Some of those allegations are problems of personnel who can be removed. But a far more menacing problem has emerged in recent months with the release of information from Twitter.

The “Twitter files” revealed an FBI operation to monitor and censor social media content — an effort so overwhelming and intrusive that Twitter staff at one point complained internally that “they are probing & pushing everywhere.” The reports have indicated that dozens of FBI employees worked on the identification and removal of material on a wide range of subjects and that Twitter largely carried out their requests.

Nor was it just the FBI, apparently. Emails reveal FBI figures like a San Francisco assistant special agent in charge asking Twitter executives to “invite an OGA” (or “Other Government Organization”) to an upcoming meeting. A week later, Stacia Cardille, a senior Twitter legal executive, indicated the OGA was the CIA, an agency under strict limits regarding domestic activities.

Twitter’s own ranks included dozens of ex-FBI agents and executives, including James Baker, who featured greatly in prior FBI instances of alleged bias.

The Twitter files also show various FBI offices monitoring social media and flagging “misleading” information on various subjects.

The dozens of disclosed emails are only a fraction of Twitter’s files and do not include still-undisclosed but apparent government coordination with Facebook and other social media companies. Much of that work apparently was done through the multi-agency Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), which operated secretly it seems to censor citizens.

Ironically, during the outcry over establishing a Disinformation Governance Board at the Department of Homeland Security, Biden administration officials had to have known they already were employing an extensive censorship system. When the administration finally relented and disbanded the disinformation board, that censorship work appears to have continued unimpeded through the FITF and agency censors.

According to reports, one email in August 2022 sent “long lists of newspapers, tweets or YouTube videos” deemed to be voicing “anti-Ukraine narratives.” Even satirical and comedy sites reportedly were pegged by the social media police.

What is most striking is that the FBI was not responding to false claims about its operations. Instead, these censorship demands were the result of policing “misinformation” and “disinformation” on subjects ranging from political corruption to elections.

Some apologists continue to defend this process, saying the FBI was only objecting to disinformation the way that citizens did on Twitter. That is not true; the government reportedly used back channels and regular meetings to flag unacceptable statements. Indeed, even if it were true, many things are more dangerous when done by government. When your neighbor attacks your opinion, it is just the crank next door. But when it is your government on the attack, it is far more threatening and stigmatizing.

Even if this operation did not cross the constitutional line, there are ample reasons why a democracy does not want the government in the business of targeting those whom it views as misleading or misinforming the public. While the FBI has every reason to pursue criminal fraud, this operation appears to have targeted speech it deemed harmful to political or social discourse.

For years, many politicians and pundits have dismissed free-speech concerns by noting that the First Amendment only applies to the government. So long as corporations do the censoring, they contend, it is not a free-speech problem.

This obviously is wrong on several fronts.

The First Amendment is not the exclusive measure of free speech. Corporate censorship of political commentaries or news stories are denials of free speech that harm our democratic system.

Second, this is a First Amendment violation. The Twitter files have substantiated long-standing concerns over “censorship by surrogate” or proxy. As with other amendments like the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches or seizures, the government cannot use private agents to do indirectly what it cannot do directly. Just as a police officer cannot direct a security guard to break into an apartment and conduct a search, the FBI cannot use Twitter to censor Americans.

To be fair, there were occasions when Twitter reportedly balked at government demands for raw political censorship — in one case, a demand by Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Cal.) led a frustrated Twitter censor to object that “We don’t do this.”

Nevertheless, Twitter’s management certainly now seems to admit that the company worked as an agent of the FBI and carried out most demands for social media suspensions, removals or blocks of individuals. At the same time, the FBI pushed for closer collaboration on content removal.

We do not know the full extent of this operation or its impact, but Congress should want to know if the FBI and other agencies created a system of censorship-by-surrogate. The only reason we now have Twitter’s previously secret communications is because an eccentric billionaire bought the company.

The broader effort with other companies could well constitute the largest censorship program ever run by the government — a system designed to escape both public and judicial scrutiny. It also shows how it is no longer necessary to have a “Ministry of Information” to maintain a state media: You can have an effective state media by consent rather than by coercion or control.

The FBI’s response to disclosure of these long-secret communications is particularly chilling. When some critics denounced it as raw censorship, the FBI accused them of being “conspiracy theorists … feeding the American public misinformation.” So, criticism of the FBI’s work to censor citizens resulted in an official statement denouncing those citizens.

None of these denials or attacks succeed, however. The public understands the threat and strongly supports an investigation into the FBI’s role in censoring social media. Despite the push for censorship by some politicians and pundits, most Americans still want free-speech protections. It is in our DNA.

This country was founded on deep commitments to free speech and limited government — and that constitutional tradition is no conspiracy theory.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at The George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

228 thoughts on “Congress is Set to Expose What May be the Largest Censorship System in U.S. History”

  1. I haven’t read the Twitter files. I’d be interested to know if it was only Democrats who “pushed and prodded everywhere” regarding Twitter. Anyone have details on that?

    1. The answer to your question is “no.”

      Matt Taibbi: “10.Both parties had access to these tools. For instance, in 2020, requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign were received and honored.”

      1. Actually Taibbi was TOLD there were requests from the Trump WH,
        But last I heard he was never provided any.

        Regardless, Nearly all censored political tweets are of the right.

        This would be wrong regardless,
        but it is even worse because it is massively lopsided.

        1. “Taibbi was TOLD there were requests from the Trump WH,”

          And there was testimony about it under oath today, regardless of what Musk bothered to tell Taibbi.

          “Nearly all censored political tweets are of the right.”

          Unless you have a list of all the censored political tweets, you have no way of assessing the relative fractions.

          1. Or I can trust Taibbi and the other journalists who reviewed the twitter files.

            This is not all that difficult.
            Every claim in existance does not need rock solid 99.99999999% accurate proof.

            We know Who was doing the censoring – despite Taibbi being TOLD that the Trump WH had made SOME requests,
            Taibbi’s Searches never produced a censrship reequest from Republicans.

            Taibbi as well as Barri Weis have been interviewed on the process by which they get the Twitter files data.
            If you question the details you can listen to those interviews.

            To date The journalist found no requests to censor any NORMAL left wing sites.
            But there were requests to censor left wing Parody sites – probably because the moron’s at the DNC and FBI do not understand Parody.

            Regardless, there were very few of these requests found.

            Almost all pollitical censorship requests targeted posters on the right.

            There is ALOT of information in the twitter files – if you bother to read them.

            With VERY FEW exceptions the requests were NOT to censor high profile sites – while there was some of that, Twitter engaged in more pushback over high profile sites. Notable exceptions were that most everyone trying to spread NY Post hunter biden laptop story was censored.

            Most of the censorship requests were for less consequential posters. But there were nearly 100,000 posters who were deplatformed – nearly all from the right.

            That is censorship of an entire account – not single tweets.

          2. how much evidence do you need that the sun will rise tomorow ?

            Regardless, before arguing about claims you have no personal knowledge about.
            Try reading the twitter files.
            The information you request is in their.

      2. Anonymous, what is most important is that the FBI was the organization doing the censoring. Through your response you try to diminish the importance of what the Twitter Files have brought to light. We understand that obfuscation is always your modus operandi. Bob Lawblaw, don’t belief what you might hear from Anonymous. Read the Twitter Files for yourself.

    2. The BIG Problem is that it was GOVERNMENT.

      All the alphabet agencies.

      They were censoring politics.
      Censoring Covid
      Censoring Russian Bots that were all actually US Persons.

      Massively censoring.

      Nearly all the political censorship served the left.
      Further it was inarugably election interferance.

      But most fundimentally it served the interests of the “deep state”.
      Today the deep state favors democrats.

      Separately Lots of democrats were censoring.
      The most troubling being congressional democrats who were threatening to regulate Big Tech.

      But the DNC, and Biden campaign were also involved.

      Taibbi was TOLD that the Trump WH also participated, but no evidence has been offered so far.
      Regardless the direction of the censorship near universally favored democrats.

      But this is more than just political censorship.

      And it is wrong no matter what.

      1. John Say – you are correct. I saw an interview with Taibbi about a week ago where he said that he had been told that there were censorship requests from Republicans but he had not actually seen such requests. So far everything he has seen is from Democrats, or the Deep State, or various non-governmental entities.

        1. This is WRONG – VERY WRONG.

          It is WRONG whether it is being done by Democrats or Republicans, or Both.

          It is MOST WRONG when done by those in government.

          It is even worse when it is primarily or nearly exclusively one side censoring the other.

          Taibbi and others did present evidence that both those on the left and right were being censored.

          But the censorship was still driven by the same factors – alleged misinformation on Covid, or political claims that were unacceptable.

          Often Parody posts were censored.

          First we could not joke about the TSA, now we can not joke about anything.

          1. A rolling stone article full of anonymous hearsay is your source ?

            The Twitter files journalists were given access to the internal communications of the Twitter departments responsible for censorship.

            They executed queiries against millions of emails and other communications to get the information they were after.
            And then they were provided with the results of those queries.

            There was no constraints on the journalists searches or their results.

            Taibbi admits – Just as your rolling stone article claims that he was TOLD

            But his searches never produced any evidence of a request from the Trump WH.
            And very very few requests to censor left wing sites that were not “parody” sites – and frankly not many of those.

            So who do you trust – anonymous sources ? Or the named journalists who reviewed the actual internal communications of Twitter ?

          2. There is an easy way to deal with this.

            Lets bar from all public employment or public service anyone who while working for the government made a censorship request of Social Media that was for constitutionally protected speech.

            Left, right – I do not care.

            Requests to censor protected speech – that is everything that is not obscenity or incitement to violence, are a violation of the constitution. All government employees swear to protect and uphold the constitution. All who participated in censorship violated that oath and can not ever be trusted in public service again.

            I really do not care whether those doing so were on the left or right,
            or whether who they were censor was on the left or right.

            That said, this is the Left’s Joy MacCarthy Moment.
            It is the left today that is rushing to censor everyone – including political opponents.

            Debating this just makes you look stupid.

            The whole sudden woke
            safe spaces,
            censoring misinformation – i.e. anything we disagree with
            Cancel culture

            Is from the LEFT.

            The only thing the right is pushing, is to constrain teachers to actually teaching rather than politically or sexually indoctrinating children.
            Regardless, that problem can be resolved by getting government out of schools.

      2. “Taibbi was TOLD that the Trump WH also participated, but no evidence has been offered so far.”

        It was provided today under oath in the Oversight Committee’s hearing. For example, the Trump WH asked that Chrissy Teigen’s tweet calling Trump a “p*ssy @ss b*tch” be taken down (she posted that in response to an insult from Trump). Apparently he’s fine with calling others names but objects to being called one himself.

        1. Amazing – actual evidence. Your not a complete moron.

          So far you have ONE example.

          99,999,999,999 to go.

          Regardless, whoever made the request to censor Teigen should never hold public office again.
          Whether that is Trump or a WH staffer. The same goes for the Current WH.

          Anyone in government requesting that speech that is not incitement to violence, or obscenity, should never be allowed in public office again.

        2. “It was provided under oath” – What does that mean ?

          We put PEOPLE under oath, not things.

          These requests were all made by People withing govenrment, and they were made electronically,
          There are RECORDS of all requests.

          That is what actually constitutes PROOF.

          Twitter employees – even named people, have SAID things that the actual internal communcations of Twitter PROVE are false.
          AI do not care so much what they SAY.
          I care what the EVIDENCE is.

          The ACTUAL requests.

          I want to know WHO within Government demanded unconstitutional censorship
          And I do not want any of them to EVER hold a position in government AGAIN.

          These are people who do not give a schiff about the constituion they swore to uphold and obey.

          If that results in more republicans getting banned from Public service than Democrats – I am Fine with that.

          But we Both KNOW that is NOT the case.

          There will be atleast 95 democrats barred from public service for every 5 republicans.

    3. Bob Lawblaw, you should read the Twitter files for yourself rather than rely on someone else to interpret them for you. The Twitter files reveal the biggest government censoring story in our lifetime. You should read the files because your freedom of speech is at stake. This is no time for sleep walking through life.

  2. I truly miss the “mean tweets”, $1.85 a gallon gas, the wall going up and invasion of our southern border starting to be controlled, 1.7% inflation, groceries 40% more affordable, increasing wages for ALL people, lower taxes, China and Russia as well as Rocket Boy under control, and “woke” was still awake.I despise the mess created by this administration of checked boxes freaks and perverts who hate America and all it stands for! I also despise their RINO supporters!

  3. Jonathan: Speaking of the GOP investigation and conspiracy theory that the FBI tried to censor conservatives from Twitter there is an interesting article in Esquire (2/6) about the problems Musk is facing controlling certain content–specifically relating to child abuse imagery. When Musk took over he promised “removing child exploitation is priority #1”. But Musk’s first act was to gut the department that kept track of child exploitation. Child pornography persists on Twitter. Recently, there were 120,000 views of a video showing a boy being sexually assaulted. Twitter claims it is increasing efforts to detect and delete child porn. Bit it’s 1 step forward and 2 steps backward. Those who spread porn are finding ways to get around detection. The Esquire article points out that Musk stopped paying for detection hardware or for assistance from Thorn, a child trafficking org. that previously assisted Twitter in identifying child exploitation content. So when you continue to claim Musk is bringing “free speech” back to Twitter is child porn the kind you had in mind?

    1. Dennis – “Those who spread porn are finding ways to get around detection.” This sentence proves that Musk is trying to prevent the showing of porn on Twitter; otherwise there would be no need to evade detection. Since Musk only recently acquired this business, his attempts to accomplish his objects will require trial and error. But you can’t seriously believe that Musk is trying to bring back child porn. This is just a cheap shot.

    2. Child pornography persists on Twitter. Recently, there were 120,000 views of a video showing a boy being sexually assaulted.

      And yet, the FBI focused on COVID misinformation®™.

      I wonder why.

  4. Absent specified exceptions, neither the feds nor the states have any business on whether or not the owners of Internet web sites refuse to remove content.

    And misinformation®™ is not one of those exceptions.

  5. The apologists for the comperhensive system of censorship established by the Democrats, MSM, and the Deep State rest their case on a conceit: that “the Truth” is easily discerned and that they are the ones who can see it. This conceit goes back to Marx and Engles who claimed to have grasped the “laws of history”. It has carried on through every subsequent iteration of the Left Wing Mind. These people have been proved wrong over and over again, but they vociferiously hold on to their conceit. (Let us consider briefly their most recent run of error, namely the COVID “scientific” assertions and advice: wear masks; practice social distancing; mandate vaccines for the general population, including children; vaccines will stop infections; ivermectin is useless; Vitamin D is of unproven value; close businesses, social gatherings, and schools; the virus comes from nature. All of these claims and assertions have been shown to be wrong.) If people can hold on to an idea in spite of contrary evidence, it must be that the idea serves a powerful emotional need. In this case, it is vanity, The believers in the Conceit of a Simple Truth want to see themselves as intellectuallly superior to the rest of benighted humanity, who are led astray by their greed and envy, and dangerous demagogues with orange hair. The general run of humanity are the sheep who must be protected, and kept in line, by sheperds with maces for their staffs.

  6. Professor Turley seems to dwell in a universe where disinformation is perfectly tolerable. Why would a law professor be so comfortable with falsehoods? Like America has an interest in allowing every Q’Anon zombie to spread absurd conspiracies?

    One wonders if the parents of Turley’s students are aware of his views. I’d be leery of a professor who teaches that ‘truth’ is only a matter of opinion.

    1. Russia, Russia, Russia!

      It’s not Hunter’s laptop.

      Donald Trump’s mishandling of classified documents is “irresponsible.”

      Three Sino-balloons crossed America from 2016 to 2020,…

      etc., ad infinitum.

      1. Three Sino-balloons crossed America from 2016 to 2020,…

        Yesterday. “The DOD” was the source of the info that these balloons happened.During Trump. The problem was, the media made the claim using an unidentified source at the DoD. That fell apart when the Sec Defense, The director of the CIA, and Sect of State, and the DNI all said no such thing was ever brought to their attention. CNN and MSNBC kept reporting today about these balloons no named person has ever claimed. By late afternoon, the CIA has come to their partner in crimes rescue. They are claiming These 3 balloons during Trump went undetected. That’s why nobody knows. The CIA somehow figured it out after all three of them happened. That must have gotten figured out AFTER Biden became President, because the DNI knew nothing about it.
        So it happened. Nobody saw it happen, The CIA figured it out by using their magic 8 Ball. Honest,this time, cross their heart.

        This is going to turn out just like the DNC emails that were never hacked, but the media is going to keep repeating the lie of the hack.

        1. I am soooooo glad you agree and thanks for reading.

          Perhaps now we may finally begin the process of tearing down “Crazy Abe’s” wholly unconstitutional communist welfare state in America.

          “Crazy Abe” was the inflection point of the commencement of the incremental implementation of the principles of communism in America.

          “Crazy Abe” terminated freedom in America after a mere 71 years.

          “Crazy Abe” espoused Karl Marx’s pejoratives “capitalism” and “fleece the people” in 1837.

          “These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people.”

          – Abraham Lincoln, from his first speech as an Illinois state legislator, 1837

          “Everyone now is more or less a Socialist.”

          – Charles Dana, managing editor of the New York Tribune, and Lincoln’s assistant secretary of war, 1848

          “The goal of Socialism is Communism.”

          – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

          “The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.”

          – Karl Marx and the First International Workingmen’s Association to Lincoln, 1864

          Letter of congratulation and commendation from Karl Marx to Abraham Lincoln:

          1. “These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people.”

            Below is your quote, but I put it into context by providing the entire paragraph. Naughty, naughty George. Quoting out of context is a leftist trait. Are you a leftist? I don’t think so, but this is not the first time you did this. The quote demonstrates Lincoln to be the opposite of what you said.

            “I am decidedly opposed to the people’s money being used to pay the fiddler. No one can doubt that the examination proposed by this resolution, must cost the State some ten or twelve thousand dollars; and all this to settle a question in which the people have no interest, and about which they care nothing .
            ***************These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people,******

            and now, that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the
            people’s money to settle the quarrel.”

    2. allowing every Q’Anon zombie

      qanon! DRINK!!!

      Somebody has to get some new conspiracies going….all the old ones are coming true.

    3. Now Anonymous is telling us that it is she who knows the truth. All that is necessary is to go back to her previous posts that like a rearward portion of her anatomy she couldn’t find it with both hands.

      1. Thinkthrough,

        You have used the ‘she’ reference under all your different names. That’s how we know you’re the st**ge.

        Thanks for telling.

    4. Claiming something is “disinformation” doesn’t make it so. That is the problem with censorship. In MSM and big tech circles, the censorship only goes one way. And information that those entities disagree with is labeled disinformation.
      Examples? Hunter laptop. Russia collusion. Many things COvID related.

      Things that are not true that never were censored… “suckers and losers” comment by Trump. “Good people” comment about Charlottesville. “ Trump wanted to inject bleach for COvID. Puberty blockers are harmless and completely reversible.

      Have ever once objected to the bad things said about conservatives that simply was false?

      If liberals were censored and things they said that were damaging to conservatives were called misinformation and the people in power also squashed all things positive about liberals the left would be violent about it. Well, that is what is happening to conservatives, yet you have no problem with it. Shame on you.

    5. First of all, “truth” is often a matter of opinion; many of the things that the FBI and other US government branches were telling Twitter were false and should be suppressed were in fact perfectly true. Such as the assertions of the Great Barrington Declaration, and the NY Post’s reporting on the Hunter laptop, among many others.

      More importantly, “misinformation”, even if it is definitely established as false, is still protected by the first amendment, so the government has no right to suppress it, whether directly or by ordering Twitter to do so.

      1. No, truth is not a matter of opinion. If a claim is true, then it is true regardless of people’s opinions about it.

  7. (OT)

    … In a pending criminal case against several anti-abortion activists, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization concluded only that the 14th Amendment included no right to abortion but stopped short of definitively ruling out other aspects of the Constitution that might apply. “[I]t is entirely possible that the Court might have held in Dobbs that some other provision of the Constitution provided a right to access reproductive services had that issue been raised,” the judge wrote. “However, it was not raised.”
    Kollar-Kotelly noted that there is some legal scholarship suggesting that the 13th Amendment — which was ratified at the end of the Civil War and sought to ban slavery and “involuntary servitude” — provides just such a right. She is asking the parties in the criminal case, which involves charges of blocking access to abortion clinics, to present arguments by mid-March. …

    1. Government officials should have no role whatsoever in regulating the content of speech on social media. They can monitor public communications as part of a specific criminal investigation, and seek data from platforms pursuant to a warrant following a showing of probable cause and a ruling by a judge. They can also seek a court order compelling prior restraint if they believe a crime is being committed by a particular communication. They can also post information themselves if they wish to argue a point. But other than that they should stay out. The risks of government censorship outweigh the potential benefits of government-induced content moderation except in the most limited of circumstances.

      1. The FBI can monitor public speech for illegal activity regardless of whether there’s a specific criminal investigation. For example, the DOJ notes that “Preventing or impeding qualified voters from participating in an election where a
        federal candidate’s name is on the ballot through such tactics as disseminating false information as to the date, timing, or location of federal voting activity (18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242)” is illegal, and it’s totally legitimate for them to simply keep an eye out for tweets that were disseminating false election info. Same for tweets sharing child porn; it’s illegal, and they can just keep an eye out for it. As for speech that’s legal but contrary to Twitter’s terms, people clearly have different opinions about whether it’s ok for the FBI to let Twitter know.

        1. No,”disseminating false information as to the date, timing, or location of federal voting activity” is NOT illegal. Your citation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242 is a damned lie. Neither of those sections say anything of the kind. You are the kind of DAMNED LIAR who makes up citations and depends on people taking your word for it and not bothering to look it up.

          But even if Congress had purported to make a law banning such speech, it would be invalid. It is core election speech, which Congress has no authority to regulate in any way. I have every right to tell someone the election is on Wednesday, and if he is such a fool as to fall for it that’s his problem, not the government’s. A prosecutor who brings such charges is violating the constitution and belongs in prison. So does a judge who entertains such charges.

          The idea that false speech is not protected was blown to smithereens in the Stolen Honor case. If Congress can’t ban someone from falsely claiming military service (such as Senators Blumenthal and Harkin) then it certainly can’t ban someone from lying about the election date.

          1. LOL that I accurately quote the DOJ — — and you call me a liar.

            The law doesn’t make most false speech illegal. But it’s illegal when the false speech is in conspiracy to prevent someone from acting on a constitutional right like voting. Just like perjury — another kind of false speech — is illegal, even though most false speech is not.

            And here’s an example of someone being prosecuted for attempting to prevent people from voting via election disinformation:

            Feel free to give your worthless legal advice to the defendant.

      2. I do believe the prepositional phrase “…on social media” in your first sentence can be eliminated and a period placed at the end of “speech.” Perhaps add “all” before speech. Just saying. We are in such dangerous waters now.

        1. What nonsense. Some speech is illegal (perjury, child porn, fraud, …), and it’s wholly appropriate for it to be illegal and for the government to regulate it.

            1. First, learn to read a reply in the context of what it was in reply TO. Here, Daniel said “Government officials should have no role whatsoever in regulating the content of speech on social media,” and Mary replied “I do believe the prepositional phrase “…on social media” in your first sentence can be eliminated and a period placed at the end of “speech.” Perhaps add “all” before speech,” turning Daniel’s claim into “Government officials should have no role whatsoever in regulating the content of speech,” which is bunk, because some speech is illegal (perjury, child porn, fraud, …), and it SHOULD be regulated by the government.

              Second, re: your claim that ““Misinformation” is not on the very short list of known exceptions,” the DOJ has clearly prosecuted people for conspiracy to prevent people from voting via the spread of election disinformation, and it’s irrelevant that you disagree with it.

    2. A human being begins its life as a zygote after 24-hours of fertilization.

      If not murdered, aka aborted, a human being will live for an average of 76 years.

      If a pregnant woman is killed deliberately, the perpetrator is charged with two homicides.

      Homi – Man

      Cide – Killer

      1. The most common outcome for a zygote is to die a natural death prior to implantation. But don’t let facts get in your way; you never do.

        1. How is that relevant? The most common outcome for a newborn is to die eventually. When the constitution was written the most common outcome for a newborn was to die before adulthood. Did that change the baby’s right not to be murdered before then? Is it not murder to kill a 100-year-old, because he’s sure to die soon anyway?!

          1. “How is that relevant?”

            It means that the claim “If not murdered, aka aborted, a human being will live for an average of 76 years” is false.

            Again: learn to read replies in the context of what they’re replying TO.

  8. Jonathan: You must be ecstatic the GOP controlled House Select Sub-Committee is going to investigate one of your favorite subjects–your conspiracy theory that the FBI used “Twitter to censor Americans”. The title of the sub committee speaks volumes about where the investigation is headed–the “Weaponization of the Federal Government”–not very subtle. The GOP led sub committee will try to prove some alleged collusion between federal agencies, like the FBI, to suppress conservatives. Music to your ears.

    The genesis of the Select Sub Committee goes back to the GOP complaints about what they called the unfair treatment of Donald Trump–particularly the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. Back in August Kevin McCarthy promised: “When Republicans take back the House we will conduct immediate oversight of this department [FBI]”. To get the Speakership McCarthy had to promise the right-wing MAGA Freedom Caucus to create the select sub committee. Jim Jordan, the Chair of the sub committee, went on Fox and Newsmax to complain about social media censorship of conservatives. Jordan has been a big MAGA supporter–claiming the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Jordan attacked the Jan. 6 Committee investigation and refused to honor its subpoena to testify. Jordan and 5 other members of the select subcommittee all voted to overturn the election results. So the sub committee is stacked with “insurrectionists” that some have dubbed the “Insurrection Protection Committee”.

    What ever the House Select Sub Committee comes up with it will not be hard and verifiable evidence. It will be a fishing expedition full of conspiracy theories. And I am surprised you will not be called by Jim Jordan as an “expert witness”–especially since you have said the GOP investigation will “expose what may be the largest censorship system in US history”. How did you not get on the witness list? But you might try in other ways to influence the sub committee’s work. As you did in Trump’s first impeachment when you met with Senate Republican to formulate defense strategy, you might offer to do the same with the sub committee’s work. Say, offering up all your conspiracy theories where hard evidence has so far eluded you. But good luck anyway.

  9. Professor Turley,

    For a blog that ostensibly values informed discussion about First Amendment law, it is unfortunate that you routinely misconstrue the current state of First Amendment law as it relates to efforts by state actors to influence private censorship of speech. Contrary to your above post, the law is not settled as there is a Circuit Court split with respect to “jawboning” (as it is commonly called.)

    Lawfare does a great job of surveying the current legal landscape on this issue:

    Essentially, there are two irreconcilable SCOTUS decisions, Bantam Books and Blum, which point to opposite conclusions.

    Finally, you have focused on this jawboning issue while ignoring a much larger (and more direct) censorship operation at the state and local level, which is affecting over 35 states:

    Our public classrooms are the true ground zero for modern censorship.

    1. Our public classrooms are the true ground zero for modern censorship.

      Defining the curriculum is the job description of School boards, and University Board of Regents. Who else is supposed to do it?

        1. School boards represent the voters who OWN the school, and they determine the curriculum. Who the hell else has the RIGHT to do that, and where did they get such a right? Why should the taxpayers be forced to fund schools that make up their own curricula? Same for universities; who the **** gave the faculty the right to make their own curricula? They work for the taxpayers and the voters, and they should bloody well take orders from them or be fired. No “academic freedom” on our dime.

      1. Sorry, prohibiting a teacher from answering a child’s innocent question about his/her partner’s gender has nothing to do with a curriculum.

        Also, way to avoid the main topic of the post. Would you like to back the law professor’s erroneous presentation of first amendment law?

        1. Sorry, prohibiting a teacher from answering a child’s innocent question

          In elementary school I didn’t know, because I didn’t care, about my teachers life outside the classroom. The same is true today. I have grandkids, I have asked innocent questions. They are as uninterested as me and all my classmates at that age.
          My kindergartner Teacher was gay, I had no idea until after I had graduated.

          Here’s an Idea. Teachers keep the sexual kinks to themselves.

        2. No state prohibits a teacher from answering such a question. Florida prohibits teachers from TEACHING children under grade 4 about sex. That is all. They are way too young to learn about sex, and parents send them to school expecting them not to learn about it. If parents want them to know something, they will tell them.

      2. Iowan, if book banning is your idea of properly “defining a curriculum,” then it and censorship are not mutually exclusive. If the “curriculum” restricts a student from reading the Diary of Anne Frank (as many districts around the country now do), then it has engaged in censorship. Not sure the point of your post.

        1. Iowan, if book banning is your idea of properly “defining a curriculum,”
          Currating content in a school library is not book banning.
          Kids can go to the Public Library in town and get any book they desire.
          Public schools are controlled by the citizens/parents. First graders do not need a tutorial on oral sex.
          Again, the boards of these institutions are in control. Don’t like it? Change the board.

          1. Iowan, just so I understand you, you think that prohibiting a school library from including a book on its shelves is NOT banning said book?

            Why is it that “curating content” cannot also be book banning?

            Come on, man. Here is an example re: Toni Morrison in St. Louis:

            If you approve of censorship, then just admit it. But don’t try to argue that this is not the purest form of censorship there is.

            1. I have no idea about a Toni Morrison book. I’m somewhat of a purest on this. I grew up with lots of adult material about the house. Our kids were the same.
              But school is different. The morals of the community dictate. The government ALWAYS fails when delving into these areas.

              1. Then don’t send your kid to public school?

                If you don’t know who Toni Morrison is, then it sounds like your public school system failed you. That’s the literary equivalent of not knowing who Martin Van Buren is.

    2. What the hell are you talking about now? Public school teachers, in the classroom, HAVE NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH. That is clear and obvious law, affirmed dozens of times by the courts. They are speaking for the government, not for themselves, and they may say only what the government wants them to say.

      That is the reason they are not allowed to lead prayer in the classroom. If they had freedom of speech, then how could they not be allowed to pray, or to urge the children to pray? That would violate the free exercise clause. But it doesn’t, because they’re speaking on the government’s behalf.

  10. Blah, blah, blah. Today’s little assignment is to pre-defend the absurd “weaponization of the government” committee, which will do nothing other than waste time, my taxpayer money, and produce talking points for alt-right media to attack Biden and the Democratic party. If there really was actual censorship going on, then how do all of the lies put out by alt-right media get spread, anyway? Who is stopping Hannity, Levin, Tucker and the other losers at Fox from pushing the “Hunter Biden Scandal”, or the “Jewish space lasers” theories? How about all of the lies that actually hurt people, like the anti-vaccination lies and Hydroxychloroquine? Hey disciples, did you note just how many times Turley uses little qualifers like “alleged”, “allegations”, “possible”, “seems to admit”, “deemed to be”, “accused”, and/or cites un-named and therefore, unverifiable sources when claiming that “censorship by proxy or surrogate” is happening? Of course not. You are disciples, and you’ll believe whatever slop Turley writes even though there’s no proof. For y’all, no proof is necessary

    Turley claims: “Nevertheless, Twitter’s management certainly now SEEMS TO ADMIT that the company worked as an agent of the FBI and carried out most demands for social media suspensions, removals or blocks of individuals. At the same time, the FBI pushed for closer collaboration on content removal.” The FBI has NO authority to “demand” any social media company to do anything, and I’ve yet to see credible evidence, such as witness testimony or other court-admissible evidence that anything like this happened. When Turley says “SEEMS TO ADMIT’, that’s an admission that he really doesn’t know and doesn’t have any proof. So, why write this piece in the first place? You should be able to see clearly the reason for Turley’s lilttle qualifiers: plausible deniability: he can later on claim that “I never said that–I just said it was “reported” or “alleged”.” Today’s little piece is just another assignment to bolster the alt-right theme of attacking the FBI because it investigated the orange hog and executed a search warrant. It’s also used to sow distrust of the government, so that when it is reported that some Republican lost an election, they can lie and say they won, and the disciples, who have been conditioned to distrust government by pieces like this one, might just fall for it. It’s also to lend credence to the totally political “weaponization” committee, which will, just like Republicans in the House, accomplish nothing useful.

    Here’s a current, very concrete example of the harm that sowing seeds of distrust engenders: Republicans, who certainly weren’t privy to information Biden was given about the Chinese balloon matter, went on a rampage over the weekend, criticizing Biden for not having the balloon immediately shot down. On one of the Sunday political talk shows, some moronic Republican liked this to tackling the quarterback after a touchdown. Then, you have the truly stupid Republicans posing with their AR-15s pointed at the air, as if they could hit a target 58,000 ft. up. Now, it turns out that the US immediately blocked any transmission of information from the balloon when it entered US air space, which neutralized any possible damage to our security interests. The reason for waiting until the balloon got over shallow water, like the waters off Myrtle Beach, SC., was not only to avoid injury to people and property, but also, to limit damage to the equipment, hopefully to keep as much of it intact as possible, so that we can examine it thoroughly and be able to refute China’s claim that it was only monitoring weather. Plus, we will have some idea about the spying capabilities of these balloons. Biden told them to shoot it down as soon as it was in an optimal position to accomplish these goals, and he made the right call, based on the expertise not only of the military, but also Homeland Security and intelligence agencies. The criticism of Biden by Republicans was wrong. Will they admit this or apologize? Don’t hold your breath. Oh, and another point: before you Trump disciples claim that this balloon is proof that the Chinese view Biden as “weak”, there were 3 Chinese balloon incidents when your hero was in office. They weren’t publicized.

    1. Gigi sure did like that Jan 6 committee. Now she’s worried about her tax dollars being spent on a worthless committee. They claimed that the committee was a never let it happen again committee but it just turned into a get Trump committee. Hypocrisy thy name is Gigi.

    2. I will agree with you that it is unlikely that the committee will acomplish anything.

      Regardless, the FACT that you consider government silencing people who disagree with you to be just an “Alt-Right” talking point,
      is extremely disturbing.

      The left is just a bunch of school yard bullies.

      You can not win an election or a debate without silencing your oponents.

    3. Unreadably incoherent and hysterical.

      Repeal the 19th Dumbmendment.

      Induce women to fulfill their natural duties – have babies – make Americans.

      A womb is a terrible thing to waste.

    4. Whetehr it Turley or you or the media – those qualifiers should be present for EVERYTHING that is not proven.

      But they are not. Wise people like Turley usually do not claim things as true when they are merely likely.
      Fools claim things are true – when they are false – such as the collusion deluicon of That Hunter Biden’s laptop is russian disinformation.

  11. My first inclination — which I don’t expect to change — is to not think very much of this article. There are three main reasons for that, and they are the three sites at which I’ve suffered sneaky censorship (censorship that I’m aware of anyway) in recent years — censorship which is ongoing, if not worsening.

    Those sites are the Fox News website, the New York Post website, and THIS website.

    There are other sites at which I don’t comment, so I’m not suggesting that they don’t also engage in censorship. I just don’t know about it from direct, personal experience. And there are other sites which have outright banned me from commenting, but at least they made an open decision and weren’t sneaky about it. It’s the sneakiness, more than anything else, to which I object.

    With the exception of the Mother Jones website, which instantly banned me many years ago after my first and only comment at that site, the others were all sites at which I regularly commented and got significant positive agreement (upvotes or “likes”), until one day those sites either (1) directly informed me that I was banned, or (2) just stopped allowing my comments to post, or (3) allowed my comments to APPEAR TO ME to post, but didn’t allow others to see ANY of my comments — aka shadow banning, confirmed by me and friends by logging on using different computers and not being able to see my posted comments, even though I could see them on the computer with which I posted them.

    In their own ways, each of those methods of banning me from commenting were honest in that they didn’t fool around allowing some of my comments to post but not others. The first two methods of censorship made me instantly aware that I was finished commenting at those sites, because they directly told me I was finished or just wouldn’t allow my comments to post. The third method — shadow banning — allowed me to rather quickly figure out that I was being censored by noticing that a substantial history of my comments regularly getting a substantial number of upvotes, downvotes, and/or replies INSTANTLY transitioned into getting NO upvotes, downvotes, OR replies. When that happens, it doesn’t take long to suspect censorship and then confirm it with an alternative computer.

    Compared with those experiences are a different kind of experience at the three sites I mentioned — Fox, NY Post, and this site — where continuing to this day I never know whether what I submit as a comment will be posted or not, as Fox and the NY Post INTERMITTENTLY shadow ban my comments, and this site sometimes just won’t allow my comments to post. I know it, of course, when this site refuses to post my comments, but only after the fact, when the comment has been written, submitted, and doesn’t post.

    Anyway, I find it curious that each of those sneaky sites — “sneaky” because they don’t outright allow a person to know that his or her comments might not get posted or are not getting posted or WHY they aren’t getting posted — have one thing in common — Turley — a person that writes extensively about censorship in a way that gives at least the casual observer the mistaken belief that ProfessorTurley is anti-censorship and a fair distance from censorship, when he’s actually as near to it as it’s possible to get — near to the sneakiest kind of censorship there is — intermittent shadow banning — as it’s employed by Fox and the NY Post — and intermittent refusal to post comments for NO KNOWN REASON at this website.

    Therefore, while there are many other topics concerning which I value Professor Turley’s opinion even though I sometimes disagree with it, censorship is NOT one of those topics, and I would personally suggest that in order to maintain personal integrity he refrain from discussing that issue unless or until he cleans his own censorship house at the three sites i cited. Of course it’s possible, if not probable, that Professor Turley has no say in what the FRAUDS at Fox and the NY Post do by way of sneaky shadow banning, but I’d recommend that he pursue some method of clearing the air about it as opposed to pretending that it isn’t happening — because it IS happening — a LOT.

    1. I have both confirmed Mr. De Minimis’ shadow banning at both the NY Post and at Fox, and received such shadow-banning there myself. While I do not believe I’ve ever been shadow-banned here, I believe Mr. DeMinimis’ claim to be accurate with respect to this site, and suggest Professor Turley look to the censorship here, if he wants real credibility on this issue.

      1. At times comments get rejected due to phrasing issues with spam filters, it’s just how WordPress works on the backend. Been here for a few years now though, I most certainly do not always agree with the Professor and say so (check for yourself if you like, even in this thread right here, just a few comments below) – you are both full of ****.

        1. Do you really believe that your own experience must therefore be universally applicable? I said myself I don’t think I’ve been censored surreptitiously at this site. And are you quite certain this never, ever happens at Fox and the NY Post? Upon what authority?

          Finally, it is extremely stupid to call people full of $h!t. I would bet you really know nothing about this.

          1. @ellen

            Actually, when it comes to web and server technology (which I have a background in), yes, absolutely. The internet functions in predictable ways and technology is rife with limitations. It impacts everyone to an extent. It is why tech support is a thing. I promise you, if you were being banned, Darren would have no compunction about posting publicly to that effect right here in the thread.

              1. The only annouced ban that I remember is Jeff Silberman and it was not immediate but apparently due to an effort to sneak back on. JT and Darren could end this censorship debate quickly and simply if they would just come onto the site and tell us what’s going on. Please do so!

                1. Darren also announced when he was banning someone who posted under the name This Is Absurd and another name that I don’t recall.

                  And no, Darren’s reason for banning Jeff had nothing to do with “an effort to sneak back on”:
                  But Darren never even gave a warning to the guy who kept telling Jeff to commit suicide, and that person posted many comments doing that over several weeks time.

                  1. To clarify, “an effort to sneak back on” was not the reason for the banning but I think it contributed to the reason Darren announced it.

            1. Perhaps true of this site – as I said, twice, I do not believe it has happened to me here. But are you so very sure about the NY Post? Fox News? We know shadow banning is a thing. And, yes, I have seen it there and had it done to me. Tell me how you can be so sure I am wrong about my own posts.

        2. Why are Ms Evans and I “full of ****”? Can you explain, or is it your habit to just bite at people like a junkyard dog?

          1. James is wrong. He’s obviously not paying attention. Perfectly civil comments are deleted all the time.

            1. ATS, you should know because you make sure some of your comments are deleted by using a banned account, and then you feel you can complain about being deleted.

              Turley is not intentionally deleting what ATS says. If he were would ATS be posting so frequently?

          2. @ralph

            Due to the fact that you are seemingly being intentionally dishonest about being ‘shadow banned’ (in years of reading the blog I can only think myself of a couple of instances where anyone was banned in any form, and it was for very, very blatant and public hostility) and due to the fact that your comments contain more personal invective than insight or even personal opinion of the actual topic at hand.

            1. Why was Peter Hill / Seth Warner banned?

              Why was Jeff Silberman banned when the person who kept encouraging Jeff to commit suicide was not banned?

              1. Which one of his many names was he banned under. Was it a permanent ban?

                Silberman’s ban had justifications and has been discussed multiple times.

                1. The question was: Why was Jeff Silberman banned when the person who kept encouraging Jeff to commit suicide was not banned?

                  1. There was only one question. You want to link everything together when each person has a separate persona. Repetition of things that shouldn’t have been said did Jeff in.

      2. “Professor Turley look to the censorship here, if he wants real credibility on this issue.”

        Seriously, people. Learn some basic principles of logic and of fallacies.

        Whatever JT does with this site has zero, nil, nada affect on the validity of his *arguments*. If you reply to an argument: “You’re a hypocrite” — that is not a counter argument. It is an ad hominem fallacy.

        1. For a comment about the person to be an ad hominem fallacy, it (a) must be irrelevant, and (b) must be used to suggest the argument is wrong. If one or both of those requirements isn’t met, it’s not an ad hom fallacy.

    2. FWIW, some comments that are submitted here are rejected by WordPress due to comment filters that reject any comment with certain words and that reject comments with more than 2 links. There also seem to be periodic tech glitches. Of course, there’s no way for me to know whether those are the causes of your comments being rejected, or if something else is going on.

      1. What Anonymous says is accurate.
        And I have experienced more than a few what I call WP server hic-ups and a post did not go through. Ya gotta figure, that server has to respond to how many comments in a given period of time. Sometimes it will take a minute or two before my posts appear.

      2. I appreciate your honest reply. I do not believe I’ve used forbidden words in any comments that have been rejected at this site. The comments that were “rejected” had no links that I recall. That said, my memory from years ago at this (or perhaps it was a different- WordPress site — but I’m pretty sure it was this site) is that I was able to post comments with at least as many as 4 links.

        But I rarely post comments with more than one link, and usually no links. That was definitely not the problem here. Could have been “tech glitches” — those can never be ruled out — however on one occasion, I tried several times over a period of an hour or more to get a comment posted, and it woudln’t post, although there were no problems with content that I could identify, and I’ve been commenting online for many years at dozens of websites, beginning at the NYT in 2009 (if I recall correctly).

        Interestingly, the Public Editor(s) at the NYT seemed to like my comments and regularly selected them as “Editor’s Picks” despite their not being what one would think of as something that the NYT (as it exists today) would value. I never had any censorship problems at that site UNTIL Hillary announced the obvious in 2015, that she’d be running for president. I had some criticism of Hillary which, though civily stated, got me instantly shadow banned.

        So I have reasonably extensive experience with commenting and various comment systems and rules which are clearly articulated at most sites.

        Anyway, I really appreciate your not making assumptions that you know what the problem is/was here or that the problem was with my comments and not the website. Honest discourse is always welcomed BY ME if not this website or others that comment here,

        1. Ralph,

          I always try to engage in good faith with those who are likewise engaging in good faith (unfortunately, some here don’t fall in that category). I don’t think it’s always possible to know what words trigger the WordPress rejection. For example, another commenter, Steve Witherspoon, often uses the word “b-a-s-t-a-r-d-i-z-e,” and he spells it that way because he’s found that the comment is rejected if he spells it normally. That’s not a word that I would have anticipated would be rejected by WordPress.

          Here’s an example of Darren telling someone about the two-link limit: I don’t know if it was always that way, but it’s been that way for at least the last couple of years.

          Unfortunately, this site doesn’t provide a contact email to use when people have questions about why their comments haven’t posted.

    3. ” My first inclination — which I don’t expect to change — is to not think very much of this article. There are three main reasons for that, and they are the three sites at which I’ve suffered sneaky censorship (censorship that I’m aware of anyway) in recent years — censorship which is ongoing, if not worsening.
      Those sites are the Fox News website, the New York Post website, and THIS website.Anyway, I find it curious that each of those sneaky sites — “sneaky” because they don’t outright allow a person to know that his or her comments might not get posted or are not getting posted or WHY they aren’t getting posted — have one thing in common — Turley — a person that writes extensively about censorship in a way that gives at least the casual observer the mistaken belief that ProfessorTurley is anti-censorship and a fair distance from censorship, when he’s actually as near to it as it’s possible to get — near to the sneakiest kind of censorship there is — intermittent shadow banning — as it’s employed by Fox and the NY Post — and intermittent refusal to post comments for NO KNOWN REASON at this website.”
      I can assure anybody having worked both inside and outside of this blawg, there is NO shadow-banning here. Oh, there’s some trash removal like for those people intent on doxxing, or selling their wares or doing real harm but it’s in keeping with the civilty policy. The reason most people get “run” is there own doing-too many links, profanity and threats. I don’t think anyone has any problen with that but if they do I find JT very responsive.

      That said, it appears your post was some sideways attack on Prof. Turley for his views which, of course, is a clever way to do it by hammering him on censoring you. I do agree with part of your comment: just the first 15 words.

      1. LOL — There’s nothing “sideways” about what I wrote. However, there’s a BIG bunch of “sideways” in what YOU wrote, which I precisely why I refrain from reponding you your comments and stopped reading them YEARS ago.

        I’ve been reading this blog since at least 2017, and I’ve ZERO respect for your opinions. Is that direct enough for you? I also suspect that you’re one of Turley’s paid “commenters.” I know of one other, who state that that was his function years ago. He may even still be here under another name.

        Man, you imposgters have a LOT of nerve talking about things being “sideways.”

        Nothing else you wrote applies to my comment — NOTHING. You can fill in the blanks however you see fit, but it’s all in your warped imagination.

        1. Sorry about the typos — didn’t want to proofread that one and potentially lose the spontanous quality.

          1. Ralph de small:

            “Sorry about the typos — didn’t want to proofread that one and potentially lose the spontanous quality.”
            Your thoughts have all the “spontaneous quality” that “Correct The Record” permits you to have. And of course you don’t refute anything I say in your reply which is, of course, a “sideways” method of rebuttal. Face it: you’re full of innuendo, jealousy and just plain not knowing what’s going on on the blawg. We’ll read you just to see how the other half fails. Oh I’ve been reading and interacting with the blawg since 2008 so maybe, just maybe I have a tad more insight into its machinizations than you do.Oh and in case you missed it, I totally agree with your inital comment’s 15 lede words:
            “My first inclination — which I don’t expect to change — is to not think very much ….” Freudian!

                1. Geo:
                  I do enjoy a good pun and Ralfalfa is wonderful. I can see him in that straw hat with a weed hanging out of his mouth. Ear holes in the hat, too. Chuckles.

          2. therein lies your problem and that of many others on here:

            didn’t want to proofread that one and potentially lose the spontanous (sic) obsessive-compulsive quality

            Youre a fraud

            We have all succumbed online at one time or another to acting like addicts drunk on dopamine, almost powerless to incessantly coming back for more swashbuckling “gotchas” ala lunge and parry. Iowan2, Allan/S Myers, George of “Abraham Lincoln/Karl Marx” ridiculousness, Thinkithrough, and most recently John Say, et al fit the bill. The proper intervention would be self-introspection, followed by corrective action, restraint, and if needed, removing oneself from the stimuli, and as Darren used to say years ago, to get on with life apart from trolling the internet.

            I have stated in the past that our society is sick. This forum witnesses as such daily. This legal forum is supposed to be edifying and a place for a meeting of the minds. Some have turned it into their childish playground, littered with insults and incessant need to call others “stupid”, as Allan / S Myers does habitually. As others have stated, including me, just because one has freedom to do something, does not mean one must act on such freedom. If old men act this way, no doubt their offspring are just as bad. And yet here we are.

            Your comment was removed? get over yourself. Youre not the center of the universe, chances you comment on here daily, hourly, because no one in your immediate milieu wants to hear you spout your opinions, thus you do it here. Show gratitude to Professor Turley for his keen insight on legal affairs, his clear vision on the collapse of America, all gratis. Your comportment is disgraceful and insulting to our host’s generosity. For those who bellyache about being shadow-banned, censored or having comments habitually removed, I say: if only it were true.

            NB: Professor Turley, please reconsider your policy about allowing anonymous commenters. Charge everyone a nominal fee via a credit card, paypal, etc, so that all commenters have an identifiable avatar, allowing others to block them much like Twitter.

            1. The internet makes us all more likely to behave like 4 year olds than if we had to discuss things face to face.

              You noted the periodic fits of pique of even the better posters here.

              I have noted that people who I have met in real life, had exchanges with, and held in high regard despite different views.
              Behave like complete idiots on the internet, in Social Media.

            2. Estovir, you have a problem because you preach a religious philosophy while at the same time excessively engaging in some of the seven deadly sins.

              You say, “The proper intervention would be self-introspection.” Do you have self-introspection? Instead, you have an excess of vainglory which prevents you from having any. Self-righteousness combined with hypocrisy means you will never come close to a mirror.

              Stop looking at others and use that mirror to look at yourself first. Stop dissing Americans or people who believe differently. Control your anger. Your wrath, combined with your hate, is dangerous and blinding

              1. “Stop looking at others and use that mirror to look at yourself first. Stop dissing Americans or people who believe differently. Control your anger. Your wrath, combined with your hate, is dangerous and blinding”

                Allan, you need to take your own advice.

                1. Estovir mentioned you in his rant. What he didn’t recognize is that you represent much of what is bad in the world and that you are a liar. One need not worry what they say to a liar.

            3. Highlighting the following:

              “This legal forum is supposed to be edifying and a place for a meeting of the minds. Some have turned it into their childish playground, littered with insults and incessant need to call others “stupid”, as Allan / S Myers does habitually.”

              1. Yes, you are one of the targets, but with your lies and deception you should be the target of everyone. You are of a Stalinist nature. One has to see to it that you are under control before you go on a killing spree and control everyone else.

                1. “before you go on a killing spree”

                  Allan, do you listen to yourself?
                  Do you have any idea how sick your accusation is?
                  Really, talk to a therapist. Get some clearly needed help.

                  1. ATS, I am talking about your nature. Look at how you attack Turley, Trump and anyone else. Lies and deceit intended to kill their character.

                    That goes for you pretend friend below as well.

  12. JT, I hope SOMEONE in these hearings will make a distinction between the USG pushing out a false narrative (deceptive infowarfare) and censorship-by-surrogate. We clearly need a law that seriously penalizes USG Officers who knowingly orchestrate or engage in deceitful infowarfare. It needs to be a serious felony for the government to defraud the citizenry. And, this law has to create a special Deceptive Govt. Practices Court which does not rely on the DOJ to bring a case. A citizens group should be allowed to select its attorney to act as duly chosen public prosecutor. To require a DOJ lawyer would be an obvious conflict-of-interest.

    Please realize that tightening up on censorship leaves the barn door wide open to deceitful infowarfare as an alternative for the government to defraud the People. That door must be slammed close. And the facts of the Hunter Biden laptop case point to deceitful infowarfare as a piece of the censorship strategy.

  13. Gag Order – Idaho College Student Murders

    Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks – the gag gags speech.

    The gag order is unconstitutional in its denial of free speech – free speech that is not qualified by the Constitution.

    Necessary and Proper Clause allows enforcement of described and enumerated fundamental law and powers, and does not provide power to any party to arbitrarily amend the Constitution.

    The judge must be impeached and convicted for abuse of power, subversion et al.

    1. Yeah, “free speech” allows you to:
      Defraud the IRS on your tax return
      Defraud investors
      Make deceptive medical claims for your drug or device
      Stand up in Court and call the Judge “a f*cking thug in a robe”
      Call the cops and bear false witness to have an innocent person you dislike arrested
      Defraud the EPA about the pollutant level of the car you manufacture
      Lie on the stand under oath
      Lie to obtain a visa and US Citizenship

      The 1st Amendment! Wow, what a concept. The glue of honesty that holds society together — the very font of trust without which civilizations crumble in decadence — that’s all superceded by Free Speech rights.

      Responsibility?….screw that!

      1. I think I don’t think I believe what you don’t seem to be thinking very well even if you do or don’t believe your un-thinking.

        It may very well be that one is prosecuted for the crimes you previously referenced.

        The only thing left for the perpetrator to do would be to pick the prison he would most like to attend.

  14. ‘Members of both parties’? Sigh. Isn’t going to happen, and to continue in good faith is giving them exactly what they want. What will it take to get generational liberals to see that there is no longer any such thing as a JFK dem remaining in the modern DNC? I have to concur with the others who have stated similar: this is Soros -> Clintons -> Bush (to an extent, that family is also a dynasty) -> Obamas -> Bidens. There hasn’t been a ‘real’ democratic party for decades. I do hope something comes of all of this, but you know the media, legacy and new, is going ignore and spin and it likely won’t.

      1. No, I’m who I say I am. Anyone is free to disagree with or disregard my comments, but I am a real person, and that is my real name. Can’t say the same for you.

    1. James, be of good heart. The Twitter files have been released revealing the censorship by the agencies of the federal government and the RussiaGate hoax has come to light. For good reason the Democrats are worried about losing the Senate in 2024. Things may move more slowly than we like but because we still have a free press maliciousness is still being revealed. Hang in there. Change does happen.

  15. Poll: Most Americans View Select Committee ‘As’ a Weaponization Of Government

    McCarthy secured his speakership while pledging that House Republicans would form a subcommittee to investigate allegations that federal agencies have been “weaponized” against conservatives. The Post-ABC poll finds that 28 percent of Americans think federal government agencies are biased against conservatives, while 11 percent think they are biased against liberals and a larger 42 percent say they are not biased either way.

    Asked about congressional Republicans’ upcoming inquiry, 36 percent of Americans say it is “a legitimate investigation” while 56 percent say it is “just an attempt to score political points.”


    Professor Turley presumes Americans are too stupid to notice the hypocrisy here. Like we can’t see that Republicans are playing the victim card again? Like January 6th never happened and rightwing terrorists don’t exist? Like the FBI should know the Proud Boys are just a civic group??

    1. Polls are bought.

      Except for the pollsters hired by politicians running for office, Polls are purchased to establish a narrative. PR. Message control.

      1. Iowa, any conspiracy monger can say ‘polls are bought’. It takes no brains whatsoever to think of such a comment.

        The truth is Americans almost lost their democracy on January 6th. So we don’t care if the FBI monitors rightwing zealots.

        1. So we don’t care if the FBI monitors rightwing zealots.

          Screw the constitution. Yes we all know you hate the constitution.

        2. “The truth is Americans almost lost their democracy on January 6th. So we don’t care if the FBI monitors rightwing zealots.”
          And that’s why the Media/Corporate guy Biden lost!!! What you meant to say was we lost our democracy when the Dims refused to protect American lives and property in the BLM/ANTIFA riots of the Summer of 2020 — in Dim cities, that is. Not to worry, we’ll be ready this time when the next mob attacks because Trump runs for office. And if not caring is your thing, imagine the fun we’ll have when the Leftist clowns get marched off in leg irons.

        3. “The truth is Americans almost lost their democracy on January 6th.”

          That is not “truth”. It’s a flat out lie.

          For it to be true then you have to believe that a shirtless guy wearing a Viking hat and face paint together with a motley crew of a few hundred powerless, mostly unarmed people, could successfully force into submission the most militarized government in the history of the universe. Without firing a shot. And then you have to believe that 330 million Americans would accept it.

          Some of the rioters may have believed it. But I doubt many did. I suspect most got caught up in the emotional frenzy of it all. I’ve compared it to how rational intelligent, highly educated, college students and college alumni rush the football field and pull down the goal posts after winning a big football game. Almost none of them woke up that morning and said to themselves, “Gee, if we win, I think I’ll run down to the field and engage in vandalism and property damage.” Rational people sometimes do irrational things when they get in large groups and emotions take over.

          Nobody believes “Americans almost lost their democracy.” You may get a kick out of provoking a response like mine by repeating your absurd lie. But since literally nobody believes it, the only thing your lie does is it devalues YOUR credibility. Which you also know. Which is why you post it anonymously.

    2. So then Anonymous, you say most Americans consider select committees as a weaponization of government. After the Jan 6 committee hoax how could they think anything else? You weren’t screaming about weaponization of government when it was your side that was wheeling the pitch forks. Oh my, now you come out to tell us about the dangers presented by select committees. Another testament to the makeup of your character is duly noted.

      1. Thinkthrough, I have no idea what ‘my side’ was doing with pitchforks. I represent my own views. I’m not here in behalf of anyone else.

        1. Anonymous, you have informed us time and time again about the discoveries of the Jan 6 committee. Now you tell us how bad government committees are now that it’s Republicans that are running the committee. Where was your condemnation of government committees then. I can begin the day watching CNN or MSNBC and when I come to this blog I will read your repeat of exactly the same opinions. So much for your opinions being your own. I’m talking about word for word repetition of the MSM talking points of the day. I offer one example. CRT is not being taught in our schools. This was your story line until I pointed out the requirement by the National Education Association to teach CRT. Then as usual you never responded to the evidence contradicting your position. You must think that we never remember anything that you have posted and been wrong on in the past. We don’t even get a never mind. No surprise here.

  16. Apparently Turley objects to the FBI informing Twitter about HB dick pics and violations of the Ku Klux Klan Act.

  17. There’s a certain poetry to the language of the FBI. First, you have to cock it. The pistol. Go ahead and cock it.

  18. I live in Tulsa. I can see the smoke from the shredders running full blast at Google and Facebook in Silicon Valley since the Twitter File story broke. We will never know the evil perpetrated upon the electorate from the likes of Zuckerberg. You know, the “Zuckerbucks” he bestowed upon 99% lefty activists so they could win the 2020 election. ‘Fairest election in history’ the idiot from Trump’s team told us.

  19. Svelaz, a guy that thinks he is a “liberal” has no issue with the INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES embedding social media companies with their members, secretly shutting down criticism of the party in power and tilting elections. Imagine what the kids from the 60s would think of such a “liberal”. Liberals are the Man, the ACLU shuts down books and the media is in bed with the Administration. This is the road to ruin.

    1. Hullbobby, intelligence agencies are not embedding social media agencies. Your paranoid delusions are getting the better of you.

      Jim Jordan will, as usual, imply a lot of things without evidence.

      They are not secretly shutting down criticism any more than Fox News avoids criticism of Trump. Former intelligence officials and FBI employees have ended up working for social media. There’s nothing illegal about it. Turley loves to pour out speculation and innuendo about those folks because he knows you will be gullible enough to buy it and keep on reading his columns to satiate your need to rage against government. He’s feeding the rage. He’s doing what he criticizes others of doing. This is why he is a flaming hypocrite.

      1. Svelaz, if you took the time to do a little investigation you would know that the FBI was having weekly meetings with Twitter to give them instructions on what posts to ban. Is this not infiltration? Is there any place for reality between your two auditory instruments? It’s sad to see that your suffering from auditory processing disorder. So sad. Blind, deaf and willfully so regardless of any known evidence.

        1. “Svelaz, if you took the time to do a little investigation you would know that the FBI was having weekly meetings with Twitter to give them instructions on what posts to ban.”

          Meeting with them is not illegal or unconstitutional. What is NOT verified and is mere speculation is that those meetings were about telling them what to censor. They could have been about pointing out certain content or individuals that DID violate their policies

          1. Anonymous, it’s obvious that you have not read the part in the Twitter files where the Twitter employees said they were being overloaded with requests to ban certain posts by the FBI. You used to say that the 1st Amendment applied only to the government not private firms. Now we have the government limiting free speech through Twitter. Do you somehow not consider the FBI to be part of the Federal Government? Why should a government agency be pointing out policy violations of a private company. There’s an old adage. If you don’t want to find yourself deeper in a whole stop shoveling. The stuff your shoveling don’t smell so good.

      2. Svelaz, FBI agents were working with Twitter who were not employees of Twitter. You must have innocently missed that part. The again, maybe malice is your actual intent. A concern for the truth is no where to be found on the tip of your pen.

        1. TiT, working with twitter is not a crime. I didn’t miss that. Sharing intel is not illegal. In fact it’s quite common. There’s nothing against sharing intel about certain content and letting twitter decide what to do with it.

      3. Svelaz: Once again, you accuse us of doing what you have been doing for years. Ad nauseum, we watched as Adam Schiff lied to every American, telling us he had documented proof of Trump’s misdeeds with Russia. Implying ” a lot of things without evidence”? Uh, huh. Only you got the wrong scoundrel here partner.

    2. “. . . the INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES embedding social media companies . . .”

      They are called Soviet-style “political officers.” And they have one job: Tow the line — or else.

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