America First Legal has launched an investigation into twelve state attorneys general, all Democrats, who colluded with the pro-censorship foreign organization Center for Countering Digital Hate to silence American citizens.
The attorneys general coordinated with the CCDH to write a letter to the CEOs of Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter, demanding the censorship of Americans to “effectively root out” any “fraudulent information about coronavirus vaccines.”
The letter was signed by the attorneys general for Virginia, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, New York, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Iowa, Delaware, and Connecticut.
CCDH claims to be a “not-for-profit non-governmental organization” that “works to stop the spread of online hate and disinformation through innovative research, public campaigns and policy advocacy.”
According to a press release from America First Legal, “On March 24, 2021, CCDH published a list of ‘twelve anti-vaxxers who play a leading role in spreading digital misinformation about Covid vaccines,’ and urged social media platforms to ‘establish a clear threshold for enforcement action’ and ‘to deplatform the most highly visible repeat offenders, who we [CCDH] term the Disinformation Dozen.’ The list consisted entirely of Americans, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. AFL launched an investigation into potential government collusion with this list.”
On the same day that the list was published, the twelve state attorneys general sent a letter stating, “Twitter and Facebook have yet to remove from all their platforms the accounts of prominent ‘anti-vaxxers’” such as the “12 ‘anti-vaxxers’ personal accounts and their associated organizations, groups and websites [that] are responsible for 65% of public anti-vaccine content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.”
The legal organization has now launched a series of state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain more information about how these AGs colluded with the foreign influence campaign.
The FOIA requests sent to each AG assert, “Government pressure to suppress speech violates the First Amendment. While the government may find some speech ‘misguided, or even hurtful,’ ‘the point of all speech protection is to shield just those choices of content.’ The First Amendment is founded on ‘the hypothesis that speech can rebut speech, propaganda will answer propaganda, [and] free debate of ideas will result in the wisest governmental policies.’ On March 24, 2021, as the highest law enforcement officer in your state, Attorney General [varies by state] amplified a foreign influence operation’s campaign to censor the constitutionally-protected speech of a dozen Americans. Accordingly, we seek to better understand the circumstances which led to this letter. We look forward to your prompt and forthright assistance with this matter.”
“In 2021, in an extraordinarily anti-American move, twelve state attorneys general did the bidding of an organization with extraordinary foreign ties to pressure social media companies to censor Americans’ speech,” said Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Vice President and General Counsel. “We are going to obtain any and all communications between those offices and anyone associated with CCDH so that the American people can see for themselves the extent of this foreign-influence operation at the state level.”