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New Documents Reveal Researchers Had Plans to Continue Election Censorship Into 2024

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A lot of logical and reasonable things have been turned on their head over the last years of unprecedented, politically-driven censorship, and so the latest revelations about the policy of the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) could be summed up as, “better sorry than safe.”

Namely, new documents show that despite not knowing – and admitting to not knowing – if their highly divisive and controversial “anti-disinformation” efforts actually work, this coalition brought together thanks to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had planned to extend its censorship push into the 2024 election year.

EIP was established about three months before the 2020 presidential ballot in the US, and engaged in flagging speech on social media, declaratively with the goal of removing election-related misinformation.

The new documents unearthed by Matt Taibbi (of the Twitter Files) show that, despite the turmoil around that election that was in no small part tied to “fact-checkers” and the like, but also the government’s (indirect) involvement, EIP planned to continue its “mission.”

That included the 2022 midterm elections, and the upcoming 2024 presidential vote, an email from Alex Stamos to Kate Starbird, dated September 2022, reveals.

A previous email from Stamos to Renee DiRiesta concerned an idea to ask the National Science Foundation for funds for future collaborations regarding vaccine information, with the language implying this censorship effort was already underway.

It’s interesting to note that all three “characters” mentioned here were involved in EIP as university researchers, but that Stamos was in the past a Facebook exec, who in early 2021 started a business venture with former CISA Director Chris Krebs.

That same year, Starbird was worried that the new, Biden administration might engage in “combating disinformation” in an (overly) partisan manner, and warned against, essentially, the optics of it (meaning, recommending that there should be no “disinformation czars”).

But even after a huge amount of content was successfully, censorship-wise, labeled and suppressed in 2020, in April of the following year, Starbird wrote, “We still have very little evidence about what works.”

Starbird had little faith as to how effective “prebunking” and “media literacy” campaigns were, either, calling the conclusions “unclear.”

Get Taibbi’s post on Racket News here.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

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