Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) is leading an inquiry into whether President Joe Biden’s “Disinformation Governance Board” will be pressuring big tech companies to increase their surveillance and censorship of conservative users.
In a letter sent to the CEOs of Meta (Facebook), LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat, and Reddit, McMorris Rodgers asks whether Biden’s “disinformation” board has requested information about the companies’ political speech policies and if they had intentions of complying with any requests compelling them to remove political speech.
The letter comes days after the attorneys general for Louisiana and Missouri sued the Biden administration for colluding with big tech to censor conservative political speech under the guise of combatting “misinformation.”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member suspects Biden will weaponize the disinformation board to further target and silence conservatives online.
“We fully expect this will mean DHS will seek information from your company about conservative users, since President Biden has essentially identified them as political enemies,” she wrote.
McMorris Rodgers called out the board’s director, Nina Jankowicz, for spreading disinformation herself, pointing toward her comments about Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover and her promotion of the infamous Steele dossier.
The letter said, “In response to Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter, Jankowicz stated: “I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for marginalized communities…which are already shouldering…disproportionate amounts of this abuse.”
“Ms. Jankowicz promoted the work of Christopher Steele, the author of one of the most infamous “disinformation” political operations in U.S. history and dismissed Hunter Biden’s laptop as “a Trump campaign product.””
“Although all Americans should be concerned by this new board, sadly, no one should be surprised,” McMorris Rodgers further wrote. “President Biden has weaponized his administration to silence certain individuals and censor certain speech since day one of his presidency.”
The letter also pointed to multiple instances in which the Biden White House has applied pressure on private companies to increase their censorship practices on conservatives using their platforms.
McMorris Rodgers drew attention to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki begging Spotify to do “more” to censor podcast host Joe Rogan after she disapproved of remarks made about coronavirus by one of Rogan’s guests.
McMorris Rodgers also pointed to Biden’s comments about MAGA supporters being “the most extreme political organization” in history as an example of Biden’s chilling effect on free speech.
“Notably, the Biden administration has a history of pressuring your company to censor certain speech and silence individuals, and we are concerned the creation of this board will result in an increase in such efforts,” McMorris Rodgers said.The letter was signed by other Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Robert Latta (R-OH).