President Joe Biden’s administration repeatedly insists it is not violating the First Amendment in its attempts to control Americans’ speech using Big Tech. The regime’s recent targeting of Elon Musk and Twitter via weaponization of the Federal Trade Commission, however, suggests otherwise. Why else would it punish the social media company as soon as its incoming CEO pledged to roll back censorship on his app?
In light of a federal judge’s recent ruling that barred the Biden administration from colluding with Big Tech companies to censor Americans’ speech, the suspiciously-timed attack on Twitter as Musk tries to rebrand it as a “free speech” platform is highly suspect.
As my colleague Margot Cleveland noted on Monday, the FTC and Twitter had operated for roughly a decade under a consent order they established in 2011 as part of a settlement over a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act by Twitter. That status quo quickly turned into the FTC “tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern” and granting itself “new tools to ensure compliance” in a new consent order shortly after Musk, who committed himself to advancing free speech, acquired the platform in 2022.