How Senator Mark Warner Coerced Big Tech

Senator Mark Warner (D) has been pressuring Big Tech to censor Republicans since 2018, at least. After the Demsurrection of January 6, 2021, Senator Warner also pressured Big Tech, mainly Facebook, to retain personal and private communication of its users, related to the J6 events. Facebook complied, and provided troves of its users’ private data to DC prosecutors to cherry pick from.

Recent discovery of emails, in which the Biden-Harris administration tells Facebook what speech to censor on its platform, has caused a scandal. Both BHA and Big Tech are going to deny the coercion. But such coercion was in plain view since 2018. Democrat legislators, Attorneys General, and other government officials have coerced Big Tech to censor opponents of Democrat agendas, by threats of adverse legislation and/or regulation.

The full report (2,450 words): Mark-Warner-Coercing-BigTech-since-2018.pdf

Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms (2018), by Senator  Warner is just one example of the threats of legislation and regulation of Big Tech, if it were not to comply with the Democrat demands. It is still relevant. Notice that neither Senator Warner nor anybody else considered the idea that Big Tech social media are First Amendment speakers. From the Senator Warner’s document:

Social media and wider digital communications technologies have changed our world in innumerable ways… The American companies behind these products and services – Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, and Apple, among others – have been some of the most successful and innovative in the world… As their collective influence has grown, however, these tech giants now also deserve increased scrutiny.” – names some of the targeted companies.

“The size and reach of these platforms demand that we ensure proper oversight, transparency and effective management of technologies that in large measure undergird our social lives, our economy, and our politics. Numerous opportunities exist to work with these companies, other stakeholders, and policymakers to make sure that we are adopting appropriate safeguards to ensure that this ecosystem no longer exists as the ‘Wild West’ – unmanaged and not accountable …” – let us keep in mind this offer “to work with” as an alternative to harsh laws proposed in the document.

By the way, the Obama administration hand-picked some of the tech winners. Democrats have been showering Big Tech with gifts since 2009 and started threatening them since 2016.

2023-01-25 update:

From Sundance’s post:

“Maintaining the Trump-Russia narrative was ultimately the objective of Senator Warner and pressure was put upon traditional media and social media to retain it.”

“In the period between January and May 2017 Warner’s goal was to get a Special Counsel installed. After the Mueller appointment, Warner then shifted to providing fuel for the media to assist the Weissmann/Mueller special counsel narrative.”

“Mark Warner was selling the narrative from his position as SSCI Vice-Chair, while people like Dan Jones, Adam Waldman and Fusion GPS were spinning fabricated evidence to media that was supported by FBI and Intel Community leaks. It was all one big propaganda push in one direction and Senator Mark Warner was a big part of it.”

From the Twitter Files #12, by Matt Taibbi:

“In September, 2017, after a cursory review, Twitter informed the Senate it suspended 22 possible Russian accounts, and 179 others with “possible links” to those accounts, amid a larger set of roughly 2700 suspects manually examined. Receiving these meager results, a furious Senator Mark Warner of Virginia – ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee – held an immediate press conference to denounce Twitter’s report as “frankly inadequate on every level.””

“After meeting with congressional leaders, [Twitter’s] Crowell wrote: “Warner has political incentive to keep this issue at top of the news, maintain pressure on us and rest of industry to keep producing material for them.””

The ‘material’ means purported evidence of Russian interference in 2016 elections.

“In growing anxiety over its PR problems, Twitter formed a “Russia Task Force” to proactively self-investigate. The “Russia Task Force” started mainly with data shared from counterparts at Facebook, centered around accounts supposedly tied to Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA). But the search for Russian perfidy was a dud”

“Twitter leaders were told by Senate staff that “Sen Warner feels like tech industry was in denial for months.””

“This cycle – threatened legislation, wedded to scare headlines pushed by congressional/intel sources, followed by Twitter caving to moderation asks – would later be formalized in partnerships with federal law enforcement.”

Classical state actions.

See also How the FBI Hacked Twitter * The answer begins with Russiagate by Lee Smith in Tablet Mag.


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