I wrote about California’s dystopian Office of Election Cybersecurity early this year.
A government office created by California Democrats is monitoring hashtags, classifying political speech it opposes by “threat level”, taking screenshots of posts, and then storing the information indefinitely, before reporting the offending speech to social media companies for censorship.
Jenna Dresner, the senior public information officer for the Office of Election Cybersecurity, boasted that the government office maintains an internal database of online speech coded by threat level, and that its censorship calls had resulted in removals 77% of the time.
Desner is a member of the Los Angeles County Young Democrats, who had formerly worked for Rep. Karen Bass, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and other Democrat figures. The Office of Election Cybersecurity operates under Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who was chosen by Governor Newsom to replace Senator Kamala Harris. And the bill creating California’s own office of internet censorship was sponsored by two Democrats.
The internet censorship office was promoted in Padilla’s Vote Safe California campaign run by a consulting firm featuring the “mastermind” of Biden’s campaign, which developed Biden’s vote-by-mail programs in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Judicial Watch has now gathered and released documents showing some of the interactions between the Office of Election Cybersecurity and Big Tech. The censorship reached Judicial Watch’s own materials.
The Secretary of State’s office details its communication with YouTube: “We wanted to flag this YouTube video because it misleads community members about elections or other civic processes and misrepresents the safety and security of mail-in ballots.” The chart quotes Fitton describing Judicial Watch’s statement about its federal lawsuit settlement with Los Angeles County that will require it to clean up voter rolls and how a Michigan court “changed the rules” on ballot deadlines and ballot harvesting. (The controversial decision was overturned in October 2020.)
The document shows that California state officials contacted YouTube directly to remove the video on September 24, 2020, and that YouTube seemed to respond by deleting the video on September 27, 2020.
This goes to a point that Justice Clarence Thomas recently made.
For example, although a “private entity is not ordinarily constrained by the First Amendment,” Halleck, 587 U. S., at ___, ___ (slip op., at 6, 9), it is if the government coerces or induces it to take action the government itself would not be permitted to do, such as censor expression of a lawful viewpoint. Ibid. Consider government threats. “People do not lightly disregard public officers’ thinly veiled threats to institute criminal proceedings against them if they do not come around.” Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U. S. 58, 68 (1963). The government cannot accomplish through threats of adverse government action what the Constitution prohibits it from doing directly. See ibid.; Blum v. Yaretsky, 457 U. S. 991, 1004–1005 (1982). Under this doctrine, plaintiffs might have colorable claims against a digital platform if it took adverse action against them in response to government threats.
The Democrats have pushed Big Tech censorship. Here we have close interactions between a government agency and dot com platforms with the disproportionate impact being suffered by conservative critics of Democrat voting abuses.
This is state censorship. And if it’s not, what is?