A bombshell report released Tuesday by the House Select Weaponization Subcommittee is the gift that keeps on giving, further exposing yet another President Joe Biden-led censorship plan against Americans.
The report, previously covered by MRC Free Speech America, unveiled how the Biden-led National Science Foundation is using taxpayer-funded grants to use artificial intelligence to censor free speech online. One of the grantees, tech non-profit Meedan, received $5.75 million for a program that would “work with social media apps to “identify and limit susceptibility to misinformation” and “pseudoscientific information online.”
The taxpayer-funded program, dubbed Co-Insights, worked with social media and messaging companies like WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal to develop tools to locate violating content to censor more effectively. According to documents released by the House Weaponization Subcommittee, Meedan Director of Research Scott Hale highlighted that the company’s ultimate goal was to allow social media platforms to “put all the content they take down into a data enclave” and use code to “benchmark differentiated automated detection approaches without having direct access to the data.” In other words, the manual review of content moderation was too inefficient, so the team at Meedan wanted to do the heavy lifting and let social media companies detect blacklisted content in bulk.
Specifically, the team listed several examples of what kind of information it wanted to censor. According to the report, the list included “fear mongering and anti-Black narratives,” “undermining trust in mainstream media,” “glorifying vigilantism” and “weakening political participation.” An example of an “anti-Black” narrative would be criticizing The New York Times for “ignoring Black-on-Asian hate crimes.” This statement is not even a statement of fact, but simply a political opinion on the coverage of The Times, but that doesn’t stop the team at Meedan from wanting to get rid of it.
One fact in particular stuck out in the grant proposal and even prompted a reaction from Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY) in a Tuesday hearing overseeing the content unveiled in the report. Meedan bragged in its grant proposal about having the ability to monitor 750,000 blog posts and news articles “daily” using its AI tools. Hageman cited this slide as evidence of “the absolute scope of what AI can do for violating people’s First Amendment rights.”
.@RepHageman exposes the scope of #CensorshipIndustrialComplex, revealed industry partner, @meedan , told the National Science Foundation it was monitoring 750k blog posts “daily” using AI pic.twitter.com/LvfBhbThr4
— Count of Monte Cristo (@MonteCristo1837) February 6, 2024
This NSF scheme is sadly not a fluke, but rather part of a larger complex of grants and government-sponsored programs designed to either censor content or perhaps worse, use propaganda to manipulate people’s views of the information they consume, particularly children.
MRC Free Speech America released a report last month exposing an initiative by the U.S. Embassy in Germany to host a series of seminars that imported German censorship methods into American classrooms. The grant’s fiscal agent was Media Literacy Now, a nonprofit that advocates for “media literacy” programs to be mandated in K-12 schools in all 50 states. MLN has pitched the need for these programs as a means to fight “misinformation” and “online radicalization.”
Notably, one of the seminars, MEET Tolerance, featured curricula from German socialist Konstantin Von Notz. The German politician helped lead the “No Hate Speech Movement,” a youth organization set up by the European Union to “combat hate speech and promote human rights online.” The movement mobilized kids to be activists by posting pre-approved messages and hashtags to create public pressure on politicians to enact new censorship laws. Von Notz has argued that freedom of speech does not protect “‘haters’ motivated by ‘right wing extremism.’”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand government agencies and Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.