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‘Twitter is sabotaging public discourse regarding important national and homeland security issues’: DHS acting secretary

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“Twitter is sabotaging public discourse regarding important national and homeland security issues,” writes the Department of Homeland Security acting secretary to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Today, DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf berated Dorsey in an open letter claiming that Twitter intentionally censored a tweet from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) acting commissioner for no other reason than “ideological disagreement with the speaker.”

“Twitter is sabotaging public discourse regarding important national and homeland security issues” — DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf

Wolf claimed that Twitter’s censorship of a government official endangered national security and called on Dorsey “to commit to never again censoring content on your platform and obstructing Americans’ unalienable right to communicate with each other and with their government and its officials.”

You can check out the censored tweet from CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan below, which was unlocked “only after CBP reached out to Twitter’s office of government affairs a second time and went public with this censorship,” according to Wolf.

“Twitter’s moderators, apparently triggered by the tweet, emailed Mr. Morgan to say, ‘You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease,'” wrote Wolf.

“The Acting Commissioner’s tweet did none of these things. Read it. Watch the video,” he added.

“Such censorship is disturbing. Twitter’s conduct censoring US government officials also endangers the national security” — DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf

Around 20 hours after Twitter censored Morgan, the tweet was reinstated. Morgan accused Twitter of blocking the American people from accessing “the TRUTH.”

Morgan wrote in a public statement:

“We will not accept public social media platforms like Twitter that blatantly censor free and open communication with the American people simply because they don’t like the message” — CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan

Twitter blocked the CBP official’s account the same day that Dorsey was grilled over censorship before the Senate Commerce Committee.

In his open letter, Wolf told Dorsey, “It is dangerous and damaging when any publisher arbitrarily and unfoundedly decides, as it did here, that the facts and policies of a particular Presidential Administration constitute “violence”—in order to censor them.

“And in the case of Twitter, this can cut off an essential mode of communication between US Government officials and the public. In doing so, Twitter is sabotaging public discourse regarding important national and homeland security issues.”

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Tim Hinchliffe
Tim Hinchliffe is the editor of The Sociable. His passions include writing about how technology impacts society and the parallels between Artificial Intelligence and Mythology. Previously, he was a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa and an editor at Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co