Does the “It’s a private company” argument work when the government controls private companies?
From July to December 2021, the number of legal orders from governments going after journalists that Twitter received increased significantly.
Per a report by Twitter, there was a 103% uptick in the number of legal demands singling out verified journalists.
According to Cindy Harper of Reclaim the Net, Twitter received 47,572 requests going after 198,931 accounts. Governments made 11,460 of those demands. 20% of those came from the United States government.
“We continue to see a concerning trend toward attempts to limit global press freedom, with an increase in government legal demands targeting journalists, as well as an overall increasing number of legal demands on accounts – both represent record highs since reporting began,” Twitter said in the report.
In addition, Twitter received 11,500 requests for user accounts during the same timeframe. Harper noted that “these requests for information made by governments were made by the US government.”
According to Twitter, it was against 29 requests for user information from the US government. Though Twitter was in compliance with 69% of these requests.
“Of those 29 requests, we filed lawsuits to fight back in two instances and succeeded in convincing courts to apply First Amendment protections in one case. The other case remains pending,” Twitter stated.
Harper concluded by noting that “The company added that it either refused to disclose account information or narrowed the information disclosed in 60% of the requests from governments globally.”
Free speech is in a delicate state worldwide. The US still stands out for having a culture and political practices that protect the freedom of expression. However, that has changed in recent decades due to the ruling class’s growing disrespect of traditional civil liberties.
That said, it’s not just the government that’s attacking free speech. Corporations like Twitter and its other Big Tech counterparts have acted as private arms of the state or at least have succumbed to political pressure by censoring individuals and organizations the political class hates.
In 2022 and beyond, it’s up to America First nationalists to protect online speech from all forms of censorship by passing an Internet Bill of Rights and making sure that the new public square that is the Internet is safe from free speech restrictions.