Weaponized FTC Demands Twitter Hand Over Journalists’ Work

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The Biden administration’s FTC demands that Elon Musk explain why he allowed journalists access to the Twitter Files. This is an outrageous attack on the First Amendment, Michael Schellenberger wrote.

Shellenberger wrote that he would eagerly speak with Congress on Thursday. He added:

“The FTC has demanded that Twitter provide, among other things… Information relating to journalists’ work protected by the First Amendment, including their work to expose abuses by Big Tech and the federal government.”

“There is no logical reason why the FTC needs to know the identities of journalists engaging with Twitter. There is no logical reason why the FTC, on the basis of user privacy, needs to analyze all of Twitter’s personnel decisions. And there is no logical reason why the FTC needs every single internal Twitter communication about Elon Musk.”

“The strong inference from these facts is that Twitter’s rediscovered focus on free speech is being met with politically motivated attempts to thwart Elon Musk’s goals. The FTC’s demands did not occur in a vacuum. They appear to be the result of loud voices on the left— including elected officials—urging the federal government to intervene in Musk’s acquisition and management of the company. The FTC’s harassment of Twitter is likely due to one fact: Musk’s self-described “absolutist” commitment to free expression in the digital town square.”

Elon Musk replied on Twitter, “A shameful case of weaponization of a government agency for political purposes and suppression of the truth!”

The Wall Street Journal Report

The Federal Trade Commission has demanded Twitter Inc. turn over internal communications related to owner Elon Musk and detailed information about layoffs. The Wall Street Journal reports they’re worried about staff reductions compromising user’s data.

[Do you believe that?]

The FTC, led by Democrats, sent twelve letters to Twitter and its lawyers since Mr. Musk took over on October 27.

Mr. Musk told Twitter employees in November the company would do whatever it takes to follow both the letter and the spirit of the FTC order, the Journal reported at the time.

The FTC also seeks to depose Mr. Musk in connection with the probe.

The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee obtained the so-called demand letters, which published excerpts of them Tuesday in a staff report about the FTC’s investigation.

According to the Journal, the letters indicate Twitter responded to the FTC but that the agency, as of late January, felt the company was engaging in a “troubling pattern of ongoing delay” that raises “serious concerns about its compliance.”

The Judiciary panel’s report, the first by a new subcommittee examining what Republicans call the “weaponization” of federal agencies, accused the FTC of overstepping its authority at the urging of progressive groups unhappy with Mr. Musk’s acquisition of the company.

“There is no logical reason, for example, why the FTC needs to know the identities of journalists engaging with Twitter,” the report said. “There is no logical reason why the FTC, on the basis of user privacy, needs to analyze all of Twitter’s personnel decisions. And there is no logical reason why the FTC needs every single internal Twitter communication about Elon Musk.”


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