Subscribe for premier reporting on free speech, privacy, Big Tech, media gatekeepers, and individual liberty online.

WA Secretary of State Hobbs, Despite Ethics Complaints, Boasts Using AI To Surveil Social Media

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

The Washington state Republicans may be working hard – but the Washington State Secretary appears to be working harder.

The goal here that’s hoped to be achieved: the former to rein in the use of “AI” tech to surveil and quite possibly censor social media users ahead of elections – the latter, to make sure that tech does indeed get used.

Last spring, Washington State Secretary Steve Hobbs’ office struck a $273,000 deal with UK’s private company Logically to, as reports put it at the time, “scour” the web, “refute” misinformation, and just in general, “respond,” real-time, to what the authorities decide is misinformation and disinformation.

Hobbs, a Democrat, naturally denied there was anything wrong with this, and the crux of the argument was that social media posts are “public” after all – apparently ignoring the point of the complaints, which is do you then use or abuse whatever these public posts are saying – to silence legitimate speech?

It’s almost a year on and nothing has changed. If anything, things are heating up with the primaries in the US, leading up to the presidential election.

Hobbs was not shy to share with the media how his office is now “an AI-armed force against disinformation.”

The doubling down on censorship, at this stage of the “proceedings” in the US, regarding both the behavior of almost all major social media, and the political trends, could be a sign of two things: somebody’s inability to read the room, or just desperation.

Hobbs has recently spoken for Crosscut to reveal that in his state, July or August is when national conventions take players for both political parties (in the US, there’s only two of any influence.)

To Europeans, and many others around the world, this might sound positively crazy. But not for the people we’re talking about.

But that’s what makes it so important for the rest of the world to understand what goes on in those US (two-party) primaries.

In Washington state, for example, the primaries will be held in March.

Here’s Hobbs’ take on the situation, as of late February – Biden is winning his constituency vote – but the apparent front-runner on the Republican side, is again, Donald Trump.

And now – “what do we do?”

“We (WA Democrats) also use a third-party vendor called Logically that scans social media and looks at the trends out there,” Hoggs told the world just this week.

And that’s in this (Hobbs) context:

“So for example, we’ll get a report and it says these are the trends about elections, these are the messages that are being talked about. So far, nothing big, right? But I’m sure that could happen as we go into 2024. Because you have misinformation generated not just at the local level, but you also have misinformation generated from adversarial state actors, like Russia would be an example of a country that does that.”

Alright then, Hobbs.

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

Read more

Join the pushback against online censorship, cancel culture, and surveillance.

Already a member? Login.