Government agencies and disinformation “experts” are quick to cite the need to combat foreign actors attempting to undermine American elections as a justification for this censorship regime. While foreign states do attempt to conduct influence operations, the Committee’s and Select Subcommittee’s investigation has revealed that the true focus and purpose of the censors’ “election integrity” work was to target the very Americans they claim to protect. Instead of targeting foreign or inauthentic accounts, the EIP targeted Americans, disproportionately candidates and commentators with conservative viewpoints. And despite its stated purpose to combat “disinformation,” the EIP worked with social media companies to censor true information, jokes and satire, and political opinions.
he government may not dictate the type or terms of the criticism to which it is subject, even when—especially when—the government disagrees with the merits of that criticism
The First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech” and protects “the right of the people . . . to petition the Government.”12 The ability of Americans to criticize the government and its policies is a fundamental and sacrosanct principle of our constitutional republic. The Supreme Court has long recognized that for “core political speech” “the importance of First Amendment protections is at its zenith.”13 Moreover, as constitutional scholars have explained: “Because the First Amendment bars ‘abridging’ the freedom of speech, 11 See App’x II. 12 U.S. Const. amend. I. 13 Meyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 420, 425 (1988) (internal quotation marks omitted). 6 any law or government policy that reduces that freedom on the [social media] platforms . . . violates the First Amendment.”14 The government may not dictate the type or terms of the criticism to which it is subject, even when—especially when—the government disagrees with the merits of that criticism
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