The next round of congressional hearings will be hosted by the House Judiciary Committee and focus on the topic of social media censorship. Rob Flaherty is one of the big witnesses. He’s “outgoing White House director of digital strategy.” Also up for a good grilling is Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan.
Censorship of social conversations
The next big topic of Congressional investigations is the mass censorship of speech on social media. On Friday, June 23, the House Judiciary Committee announced that they sent out a few “invitations.” The witnesses can either cooperate and schedule an appearance or congress can do it the hard way, with subpoenas and all the red tape that comes with them.
At the top of the guest list you’ll find the name Rob Flaherty. It’s not one easily recognizable but behind the scenes he’s Joe Biden’s handler on subjects related to “digital strategy.”
Lawmakers, especially the Republican ones, want to ask him a few questions “about his alleged efforts to ‘censor’ social media conversations.”
Senior WH advisor Rob Flaherty (defendant in our cases Missouri v. Biden and Dressen v. Flaherty) will “no longer be employed in any capacity by the US Government.” Could it perhaps have been all the unhinged emails to social media companies pressuring them to censor Americans? pic.twitter.com/mVydDuJkGf
— Casey Norman (@CaseyNormando) June 16, 2023
That, New York Post points out, sets up “a potential showdown with a key player in the Biden administration’s ‘flagging‘ of content for removal.” Censorship has been a huge hotbutton issue since the Twitter Files blew the lid off.
“Due to your personal and direct involvement in the executive branch’s efforts to censor or remove certain viewpoints on social media, we believe that you are uniquely situated to advance our oversight and inform potential legislative reforms,” Chairman Jim Jordan wrote. He has until July 7 to schedule it or they’ll drag him in.
There’s evidence floating around that Flaherty led the censorship pressure campaign. Not only that, Missouri Solicitor General John Sauer notes, “virtually everything that I can recall here was lawful First Amendment-protected speech that was being targeted.”
Lina Khan already set
While Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan did fight her invitation, she didn’t beat the subpoena issued in April and now she’s scheduled to testify on July 13.
Instead of censorship of the public speech, the FTC was more than a little heavy handed with Elon Musk when he bought Twitter. They wanted to make sure he fully understood his obligations to honor a court imposed gag order.
The committee wants to have a little chat with her, under oath, with a court reporter taking down every word. They plan to turn up the heat and grill her on what it says in the documents they wanted from her. Ones “related to the FTC’s ongoing probe into Musk and whether he violated a May 2022 privacy settlement, where Twitter paid $150 million for misusing user’s data, and stemmed from an earlier 2011 settlement.”
EXCLUSIVE: FTC Chair Lina Khan declined to recuse herself from an FTC case against Meta, despite the advice of the agency’s top ethics official, according to internal agency documents https://t.co/7T8zJgAdMf
— Bloomberg Technology (@technology) June 16, 2023
Jordan’s weaponization panel has already been digging into alleged censorship of Musk. That panel put out a report in March “summarizing over a dozen letters it obtained that were sent to Musk in the three months after he bought Twitter in October 2022.”
When Musk’s bid to take the company over proved successful, liberals quit or got fired in droves. Especially the ones running the censorship efforts in conjunction with any government employee who asked them to censor something.
“Musk’s tumultuous start at Twitter led to the resignation of the company’s top privacy, cybersecurity and compliance officers, raising concerns that Twitter would not abide by the settlement agreement.“