Folks, Judicial Watch has done it once again.
Thanks to another FOIA request, they’ve discovered more fraud and scheming.
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They took on the Iowa Secretary of State this time, and the results are alarming but not unexpected.
Officials from the Iowa Secretary of State worked closely with Facebook to censor messages about the 2020 election, according to records.
This is often referred to as “Election Interference.”
Paul Pate, the Iowa secretary of state, is a “Republican.”
According to Judicial Watch, the Iowa Secretary of State’s office sent them 624 pages of documents showing how state officials forced social media companies (Twitter and Facebook) to delete content about the 2020 election. Emails from Iowa state officials to members of Big Tech, urging these firms to delete Judicial Watch’s blogs, were included in these documents. The emails demonstrate how the state agency was able to persuade Facebook to censor Judicial Watch’s post about Iowa’s voter-roll management.
The documents were obtained as a result of a June 2020 Iowa Open Records lawsuit filed after the Iowa Secretary of State refused to comply with a February 2020 request for records and correspondence about a Judicial Watch study on the state’s voter registration rolls (Judicial Watch v. Iowa Secretary of State (No. 05771 EQCE085973)). Iowa lawyer Alan R. Ostergren of Des Moines, Iowa, represented Judicial Watch.
Officials from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office approached officials from Facebook and Twitter on several occasions to try to get these companies to delete Judicial Watch posts that raised questions about Iowa’s failure, according to documents.
In an email to Facebook official Rachel Holland on February 3, 2020, at 5:19 p.m., Kevin Hall, the communications director for the Iowa Secretary of State, wrote:
This fake narrative has been playing whack-a-mole with us all day. If there’s something you can do to help, please let us know: https://www.facebook.com/JudicialWatch/posts/10157583458431943] [likely]
We’ve told them that it’s a hoax. It’s pinned to the very top of their list.
Here’s how we respond: https://sos.iowa.gov/news/2020 02 02.html http://sos.iowa.gov/news/2020 02 02.html
Holland wrote back at 6:11 p.m., saying:
Returning with an update on the material published by Judicial Watch. This material has been classified false by third-party fact checkers, and we’ve added a filter to it that warns users before they click to see it that it has been rated false by independent fact checkers.
Please continue to report infringing material to [email protected], with a copy to me ([email protected]), as I will be on a plane for the next few hours. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about this or any other subject.
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“Thank you!” Hall responded a few hours later. They’ve put up new stories, doubling down on their lies.”
“Thanks for flagging- we have a full team with eyes on this now and are applying the false filter to similar posts as well,” Holland replied. I’ll give you another update as soon as I can!”
Hall and Maria Benson, the director of communications for the National Association of Secretaries of State, both attempted but failed to persuade Twitter to censor Judicial Watch’s posts on the same day.
Benson exacerbated the situation by bringing in Kevin Kane from Twitter, who lodged a complaint with Twitter. “The Iowa Secretary of State has confirmed the below election disinformation, but Twitter has refused to take it down,” Benson wrote on February 3, 2020.
The tweets are obviously incorrect, as shown by proof. I wanted to bring this to your attention in the hopes of resolving the problem. Kevin Hall, their Communicators Director, has been cc’d.”
“Thanks Maria – I’ll decline,” Kane said in response to the appeal. Our team reviewed this and determined that it would not violate our election integrity policy by suppressing voter turnout or misleading voters about when, where, or how to vote. I recognize this is not the desired result, and I appreciate your continued reporting of Tweets to our team.”
“Facebook, luckily, was helpful,” Hall wrote to Kane the next day in a note.
I’d recommend that you study your Twitter rules and align them more closely with what Facebook is doing to combat election misinformation.”
Benson contacted Brian Scully, an official at the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, on February 3, 2020, after being rejected by Twitter:
Is it possible for you to report this as well? Hannity is already retweeting, and Twitter isn’t cooperating. Kevin Hall, whom you met on Saturday, has been cc’d. He is the Communications Director for IA SOS. He’s been posting as well as playing wack a mole by attempting to respond to false tweets.
Scully replied that he would contact Twitter. “Please accept my apologies… I’ve been out of pocket for a while. I’m going to tweet about it. Please let me know if you receive anything.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “These documents are just another example of state officials conspiring with Big Tech to deny Americans their First Amendment rights.” “These documents show that Big Tech censorship is a government scandal: Iowa government officials worked with Facebook to get posts they didn’t like removed, and Facebook immediately bowed to political pressure. All Americans should be concerned that government officials are trying to suppress speech they disagree with, and that these behemoth corporations often seem wilful.
This isn’t surprising in the least, but it’s disheartening that we’ve arrived at this point in our country’s history.
We don’t have to be concerned about foreigners interfering in our elections; we already have Americans killing us from inside.
The GOP had a chance to fix this but chose not to, so you have to wonder if they’re complicit.
Particularly because we just learned yesterday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been living in secret with Google lobbyist Frank Luntz.
The GOP swamp may be the deepest yet…