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Elon Musk’s Twitter Acquisition Followed Quickly by a New Government Truth Commission

The world got very strange very quickly in the wake of Elon Musk's test balloon regarding purchasing Twitter, which was approved on Tuesday, much to the dismay of some uber-social groups who were sure that Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX genius, was only playing for fun.

Poor NPR, forced to combine the information about what Musk might make of his latest toy (and in fairness, took from his public statements), describes the sale as follows: “The world's richest person who has a penchant for theatrics and erratic behavior is about to have the power to reshape discourse on a social network used by more than 200 million people every day.”

They're not handling it well. This is why the new federally run truth commission, the Disinformation Governance Board, is being brought to you by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The Biden Administration and the progressive activists (including former President Barack Obama) immediately jumped into the action following the announcement on Monday and literally started the process of delineating the term “disinformation,” even calling for regulation to ensure that negative speech is dealt with and removed from “safe” spaces.

The desperation, cynicism, and hypocrisy didn't go without being noticed. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) slammed the Department of Homeland Security over its creation of a “disinformation board” that he claims will oversee free speech rather than the border. In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Thursday, Hawley voiced “deep concern” regarding the department's decision to form the brand new “Disinformation Governance Board.”

“I confess, I at first thought this announcement was satire. Surely, no American administration would ever use the power of government to sit in judgment on the First Amendment speech of its own citizens,” Hawley wrote. “Sadly, I was mistaken. Rather than protecting our border or the American homeland, you have chosen to make policing Americans' speech your priority. This new board is most certainly unconstitutional and should be dissolved immediately.”

Hawley stated that, while Democrats for a long time have “controlled the public square through Big Tech allies,” Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter “has shown just how tenuous that control is.” Senator Hawley said it could be concluded that the main goal of the disinformation committee “will be to marshal the power of the federal government to censor conservative and dissenting speech.”

However, it is true that the Biden Administration, as shaky as it is, is doing the difficult job that was laid out by former President Barack Obama, who was just carrying out the task that was given to him by the disinformation commission of the Aspen Institute. Obama delivered a speech at Stanford University on April 21 in which he discussed the dangers of online disinformation and the extent to which unfettered speech poses the biggest threat to the rule of law. (Musk was already at work trying to figure out how to buy Twitter at this point, naturally). The former president presented a terrifying picture, in fact–one that pointed fingers at “companies that have come to dominate the internet generally, and social media platforms in particular.”

(It’s very strange that the person who helped introduce Obama to the world at Stanford is Tiana Epps-Johnson, Stanford analyst and Obama Foundation fellow who is also the co-founder and director-executive of the Center for Tech and Civic Life that is a supposedly non-partisan organization that received hundreds of millions of dollars from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to help “fortify” the 2020 presidential election.)

In his hour-long talk, Obama outlined the threat that online disinformation, such as deepfake technology that is powered by AI and ad-hoc algorithms, pose to democracy and the ways that the issue could be solved in the United States and abroad. “This is an opportunity, it's a chance that we should welcome for governments to take on a big important problem and prove that democracy and innovation can coexist,” Obama stated.

Facts are competing with opinions as well as conspiracy theories and even fiction. “For more and more of us, search and social media platforms aren't just our window into the internet. They serve as our primary source[s] of news and information,” Obama declared. “No one tells us that the window is blurred, subject to unseen distortions and subtle manipulations.”

The fragmentation of news outlets has led to us all becoming more susceptible to what psychologists refer to as “confirmation bias,” Obama stated. “Inside our personal information bubbles, our assumptions, our blind spots, our prejudices aren't challenged, they are reinforced and naturally, we're more likely to react negatively to those consuming different facts and opinions–all of which deepens existing racial and religious and cultural divides.”

However, the issue is not only that our brains aren't able to keep pace with the increasing quantity of information available online, Obama argued. “They're also the result of very specific choices made by the companies that have come to dominate the internet generally, and social media platforms in particular.”

However, Obama did not come up with these ideas by himself. No, he received assistance from a renowned think tank named the Aspen Institute, which set up a disinformation committee in 2021. It was presumably the source of the president's “disinformation and democracy” reading list. That brings us back to Twitter, since Aspen's commission has one tiny issue. Actually, there are several kinds of major issues. Commission members include journalist Katie Couric, who recently admitted that she altered her remarks on National Anthem protests in an interview she had with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in order to safeguard the justice's image with liberals. A third commissioner, Rashad Robinson, was a key player in helping to fuel actor Jussie Smollett's hate-crime fad.

Yoel Roth, the head of site integrity at Twitter, shut down access to an October 14, 2020, New York Post article regarding emails sent by Hunter Biden's missing laptop. Roth informed the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that he blocked the story in part due to the intelligence agency informing Roth that foreign governments could reveal hacked material prior to the presidential election. There is no evidence to suggest that Biden's laptop was taken or hacked. The company's founder, Jack Dorsey, has since acknowledged that Twitter should not have shut down links to the story. Aspen’s commission report criticizes Twitter as well as other social-media companies for failing to control the spread of false information but doesn't mention Twitter's suppression of the Hunter Biden article. 

It appears that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party believed they would be able to get the social-media companies well adjusted. But then Elon Musk threw a wrench into its apple cart. He stopped the transmission of their data packet, depending on which symbol you prefer. So, expect things to get a bit shaky for a while as the progressives change. There could be tears. The freakout could be an indication of positive things to be in the future.

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