US Government Censorship: Remarkable Assertion

September 28, 2022

I am not familiar with the censorship action described in “The U.S. Government’s Vast New Privatized Censorship Regime.”

One passage struck me as interesting; to wit:

At least 11 federal agencies, and around 80 government officials, have been explicitly directing social media companies to take down posts and remove certain accounts that violate the government’s own preferences and guidelines for coverage on topics ranging from COVID restrictions, to the 2020 election, to the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.

One of the characteristics of any government, including the US government, is that coordination across, among, and between agencies and individuals is time consuming, difficult, and fraught with missteps. I have no doubt that any broad US government activity is difficult to set up, implement, and keep outside the ken of Washington Post-type investigative journalists. Furthermore, getting one — let alone a group — of Silicon Valley type high tech outfits to take prompt action runs counter to my experience. If a government professional wants to obtain information believed to be available to a high tech outfit, the process often begins with a form. If the government professional, a specific point of contact will be known to the official. A phone call, email, or text message may or may not elicit a response. I have heard such statements as “Wow, blue bubble green bubble problem”, “I must have missed that email; I will look in my spam folder”, and “Can you send a hard copy request via FedEx?’ have been offered as reasons for typically slow responses to queries.

I know that information and outputs during the time of Covid was a bit of a challenge. I am not sure that anyone knew much about what others were doing. I will grant that the signals cited in the write up paint a picture of focused US government action concerning the conference and statement involved. But, if true, the actions are not what I would call “routine” behavior. Toss in third parties and the write up’s description of purposeful action is even more anomalous. Maybe I worked in less organized government entities.

I wish I had a nickel every time a project on which I have worked was described differently from what was actually going on.

Nevertheless, the write up is interesting.

Stephen E Arnold, September 28, 2022

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