A new report reveals more details about how the Biden administration is plowing millions of dollars of taxpayer funds into woke universities and private firms to fund the “Censorship Industrial Complex.”
During the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government hearing on Tuesday morning, Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) reporter Katelynn Richardson detailed how the federal government used taxpayer dollars to fund numerous projects that censored anyone with a non-government-approved view.
“The effort fits within the broader trend of the federal government’s increasing involvement in online censorship, from the Center for Disease Control flagging posts during COVID-19 to the FBI working with social media companies to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story,” Richardson said.
According to a November Foundation for Freedom Online report, the National Science Foundation (NSF) spent $38.8 million on “misinformation” funding efforts since Biden took office in 2021. However, the DCNF found that NSF spent a lot more to target so-called misinformation.
“The NSF swears it does not engage in censorship and that it does not partner directly with social media platforms,” Richardson said, adding, “But taxpayer dollars spent on projects that do are still troubling, as were the agency’s responses to straightforward questions about its programs.”
Ahead of the hearing, the Judiciary Committee and Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released a report titled “The Weaponization Of The National Science Foundation: How NSF Is Funding The Development Of Automated Tools To Censor Online Speech “At Scale” And Trying To Cover Up.”
“This interim report details the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) funding of AI-powered censorship and propaganda tools and its repeated efforts to hide its actions and avoid political and media scrutiny,” the report said.
The report continued: “In the name of combatting alleged misinformation regarding COVID-19 and the 2020 election, NSF has been issuing multi-million-dollar grants to university and non-profit research teams. The purpose of these taxpayer-funded projects is to develop artificial intelligence (AI)- powered censorship and propaganda tools that can be used by governments and Big Tech to shape public opinion by restricting certain viewpoints or promoting others.”
But NSF’s taxpayer funding for this potential automated censorship is only half of the story. The Committee and the Select Subcommittee have also obtained, via document requests and subpoenas, nonpublic emails and other documents that reveal a years-long, intentional effort by NSF to hide its role in funding these censorship and propaganda tools from media and political scrutiny,” the report said.
It added: “NSF went so far as to develop a media strategy that considered blacklisting certain American media outlets because they were scrutinizing NSF’s funding of censorship and propaganda tools.”
The report said the federal government’s funding of the censorship industrial complex “violates the First Amendment.”
The Committee and Subcommittee uncovered “serious violations of the First Amendment throughout the Executive Branch,” including:
- The Biden White House directly coercing large social media companies, such as Facebook, to censor true information, memes, and satire, eventually leading Facebook to change its content moderation policies,
- Stanford’s Election Integrity Partnership (EIP)—created at the request of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)—working with the federal government to flag thousands of links and submit recommendations directly to large social media platforms to censor Americans’ online speech in the lead-up to the 2020 U.S. election; and
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) harassing Elon Musk’s Twitter (now X) because of Musk’s commitment to free speech, even going so far as to target certain journalists by name
In a separate report, Michael Benz, a former Trump admin State Department official whose work has been cited in congressional hearings, posted on X his findings that the “Biden Admin is funding next-generation censorship technologies with millions of dollars in cash infusions to start-up AI censorship projects.”