(RoyalPatriot.com )- Last Thursday, Congressman Adam Schiff presented “data” claiming that bigoted slurs on Twitter have increased since Elon Musk took over the company.
In a tweet, Schiff disingenuously claimed that slurs against blacks have tripled, slurs against women increased by 33 percent, anti-Jewish slurs increased by 61 percent, and slurs against gays were up 58 percent.
He closed his tweet by announcing that he and Congressman Mark Takano were “demanding action.”
A Community Note was later added to the tweet to provide context.
Elon Musk replied to Schiff’s misleading tweet calling the information “False.” Musk said hate speech impressions have gone down by 33 percent since he took over the platform.
Of course, Musk’s reply overlooks the more concerning aspect of Schiff’s tweet, namely, his plan to take Congressional action.
Schiff and Takano sent a letter to Elon Musk demanding he explains what actions Twitter will take to “combat this increase in harmful content.”
Why are two members of Congress demanding action to censor free speech in the first place?
As Reason writer Jacob Sollum argued, this amounts to federal censorship by proxy.
Schiff very publicly pressured the owner of a private company to censor speech that is protected by the First Amendment. There is no “hate speech” exemption to the First Amendment. Urging Musk to take steps to “combat” “harmful content” is a clear violation of the oath Schiff and Takano swore to the Constitution.
Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald blasted Schiff’s tweet, noting that the “data” he provided was made up.
Greenwald then pointed out how easily Democrat politicians make demands of social media companies, including what they must censor.
Congress has no authority over speech that appears on Twitter. But to Democrats like Adam Schiff, it is just assumed that they do have that authority.
In response to Schiff and Takano’s letter, Elon Musk should simply tell them to pound sand.