May 18, 2024

DHS officials created a ‘disinformation group’ at Stanford University to help censor Americans’ speech on social media ahead of the 2020 election, bombshell emails reveal

The report said the partnership’s effort was directed at Republicans and conservatives by labeling information they posted as ‘misinformation,’ while information posted by Democrats and liberals was largely untouched.

Emails show DHS made ‘disinfo’ group to censor speech before 2020 race

A report from the House Judiciary Committee revealed emails showing Department of Homeland security officials worked with Stanford University to create a ‘disinformation group.’

The Department of Homeland Security partnered with Stanford University and other colleges to create a ‘disinformation group’ to censor speech leading up to the 2020 election, new emails reveal. 

The Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) was created in July 2020, and consisted of members from the Stanford Internet Observatory, the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, Graphika, and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, according to a new report from the House Judiciary Committee and released Monday evening. 

‘[T]he federal government and universities pressured social media companies to censor true information, jokes, and political opinions,’ the report said of the partnership.

Emails and internal communications obtained by the House Judiciary Committee show how the group worked to flag, censor and remove speech online.

‘I know the Council has a number of efforts on broad policy around the elections, but we just set up an election integrity partnership at the request of DHS/CISA and are in weekly comms to debrief about disinfo,’ the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab’s senior director Graham Brookie wrote in an email.

The report said the partnership’s effort was directed at Republicans and conservatives by labeling information they posted as ‘misinformation,’ while information posted by Democrats and liberals was largely untouched.

They alleged the partnership was used to ‘censor Americans engaged in core political speech in the lead up to the 2020 election.’

‘The pseudoscience of disinformation is now – and has always been – nothing more than a political ruse most frequently targeted at communities and individuals holding views contrary to the prevailing narratives,’ the report said.

Emails in the report showed DHS Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Brian Scully told members of the Office of the Colorado Secretary of State that he had flagged parody accounts to Twitter.

Other emails show Scully communicated with Facebook to remove a post about the election that had been deemed misinformation.

The committee said candidates such as President Donald Trump and North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis, entities such as Newsmax and the Babylon Bee, and conservative commentators such as Sean Hannity, Mollie Hemingway and Charlie Kirk were targeted by the group.

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