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George W. Bush Center supports anti-“disinformation” group, the worst “offender” in Twitter censorship demands

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Elon Musk might think that the US State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) is, in his words, the “worst offender in US government censorship and media manipulation” – but this federal agency is not without its fans.

For example, the George W. Bush Presidential Center has just called for continued funding of the GEC – despite the fact this entity has flagged thousands of Twitter accounts, and funds third parties to censor online speech.

Naturally, the George W. Bush Presidential Center doesn’t say it supports the work of the GEC because it excels at censorship – but instead, you guessed it, to better fight “misinformation.”

The argument in favor of making sure the agency continues to get all the money it needs hinges on the current geopolitical crisis as a handy excuse to promote the continued funding of this highly controversial entity.

A blog post on the institution’s site says that the GEC role is to “lead and coordinate” government’s activities in countering “foreign disinformation.”

The post mentions a number of examples of this “foreign mischief” as proof that efforts need to continue to suppress what are seen as disinformation campaigns.

The GEC, other than needing to be properly funded, has also made some mistakes in its work thus far, “supporting more than leading” government’s efforts, the Presidential Center noted, adding that it has accepted recommendations from the State Department’s Office of Inspector General’s and is now expected to work better.

And the Center would like social platforms to continue to play their “central” role in dealing with what’s designated as “disinformation,” while at the same time criticizing Twitter’s recent downsizing of staff.

Twitter’s current owner, though, takes a very different, and dim view of the agency, having called it “a threat to our democracy” in one tweet.

The GEC is said to have had a hand in content censorship on Twitter before the Musk acquisition.

As for the “foreign disinformation threat,” journalist Matt Taibbi – who was among those putting together the Twitter Files that expose collusion between Big Tech and government on content, and therefore speech suppression – provided examples of how that works.

“The GEC flagged accounts as ‘Russian personas and proxies’ based on criteria like, ‘Describing the Coronavirus as an engineered bioweapon’, blaming ‘research conducted at the Wuhan institute’, and ‘attributing the appearance of the virus to the CIA’,” wrote Taibbi.

He further noted that the state “also flagged accounts that retweeted news that Twitter banned the popular US (site) ZeroHedge, claiming the episode ‘led to another flurry of disinformation narratives’, ZH had done reports speculating that the virus had lab origin.”

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