GOP Reps Call on Elon Musk to Censor More

Chris Menahan
May. 22, 2022

The GOP wants Elon Musk to ban Iran's leaders and censor "hate speech" once he takes over Twitter.

From Breitbart, "GOP Reps to Elon Musk: Stop Illegal Twitter ‘Support’ for Terror-Designated Iran Regime Accounts":
In a letter penned to the likely soon-to-be owner of social media giant Twitter, Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney of New York along with several other lawmakers called upon the Tesla CEO to uphold U.S. law by preventing certain Iranian figures and organizations from utilizing Twitter to further their aims.

The letter begins by describing Musk's recent acquisition of Twitter as an "opportunity for transformational change" of the platform while recognizing that the Iranian regime currently employs Twitter "to upend free societies and threaten violence." 

"This is a chance for you to restore the platform so it once again protects, values, and champions free speech," the letter reads. "It is also a chance for you to correct a longstanding concern regarding the platform's provision of digital services to sanctioned entities, like those affiliated with the Islamic Republic of Iran, who are responsible for, among other things, the murder of American citizens."

Calling it "unacceptable" that U.S.-designated Iranian entities use Twitter freely "despite U.S. laws and regulations that prohibit the provision of goods and services to them," the lawmakers request a review of Twitter's business practices and policies in order to "ensure full compliance with U.S. laws prohibiting the provision of services to U.S.-designated entities."

The letter highlighted Twitter providing the Islamist theocracy's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with accounts used "to advance the foreign policy objectives of the Islamic Republic," a designated state sponsor of terrorism. 

"Khamenei, in particular, has used the platform to threaten violence, call for the eradication of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, and promote conspiracy theories and disinformation," the letter states. 

"He has posted tweets glorifying anti-Semitic terrorist groups, specifically Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad... [and] glorified deceased antisemitic leaders from U.S.-designated terrorist groups, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Kata'ib Hezbollah, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad," the lawmakers charged.
Why would the content of his tweets matter if this was just a sanctions issue?

They're bringing it up because sanctions are not the issue, they just want Iran's leaders censored.
The letter continues by emphasizing the value of freedom of speech and the opposition by its signatories to any "arbitrary or political censorship" on the part of the platform.

"Let us be clear: we stand for free speech and do not support arbitrary or political censorship by social media companies. Free speech and the free flow of information on platforms like Twitter are key to maintaining healthy democracies both at home and abroad and we sincerely hope your acquisition of Twitter heralds a new era in this regard," it reads.

However, the letter continues, such rights are to be distinguished from the "markedly different" issue of aiding designated terrorists, which is "not a question of free speech, but of whether an American company should be providing a service, for which it gives and derives benefit, to designated and terrorist affiliated individual and entities."

"We believe strongly that the answer is a resounding, 'No,' which is why we urge you to examine this issue further and take action to comply with U.S. law," it emphatically states.
If it was illegal, the US government would be hauling Twitter into court as we speak. It's not, they just want Iran censored.

Late last month, Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy told Sean Hannity that Elon Musk must ban so-called "hate speech" on Twitter.

When the GOP controlled the House, Senate, Presidency and Supreme Court they didn't lift a finger to protect free speech online. After losing the House, they made some murmurs about protecting free speech in between direct calls for more censorship. Trump signed an executive order to ban criticism of Israel on college campuses and multiple states passed unconstitutional bills to outlaw boycotts of Israel but no serious measures were passed to protect free speech online.

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