Wiped, with a cloth: Are mentions of Hillary Clinton now verboten on Twitter?

See if you can find the Twitter violation in the following statement:

Funny, don’t remember the FBI raiding Chappaqua or Whitehaven to find the 33,000 potential classified documents Hillary Clinton deleted. And she was just a former secretary of state, not a former president.

Or this?

The current deputy general counsel at Twitter is also the former general counsel at FBI HQ under Comey. His name as you may know is James Baker, and he was the top attorney who reviewed the fraudulent anti-Trump FISA wiretap warrants for probable cause.

Stumped? So was Paul Sperry, the New York Post columnist and commentator who tweeted it out. There was nothing factually inaccurate about the statement, nor anything threatening or obscene about it either. Hillary Clinton did use an unsecured and home-based server that not only stored but transmitted classified material, including some at Top Secret-Compartmented levels. She did delete half of the e-mails on the server before begrudgingly turning it over to the FBI, claiming that they were all personal in nature.

As for Baker, that’s also true. It may or may not matter, but it’s not factually incorrect. And even if it was, Twitter could have appended a rebuttal statement to the tweet or simply removed it as “misinformation,” as it does with others.

Furthermore, these are entirely germane points to the events of this week, especially in light of the claims made by Merrick Garland yesterday.This argument is currently being made by many, many people about the Department of Justice’s raid on Mar-a-Lago over a document retention dispute and allegations of mishandling classified material. In this context, this barely counts as provocative, let alone a violation of terms on a platform designed for commentary.

And yet

Sperry claims that the above tweet is what generated his suspension, which Twitter had declared “permanent.” Jonathan Turley reported the suspension this morning, calling it part of Twitter’s continuing “crackdown on dissenting political views”:

Twitter continued to crackdown on dissenting political views this week with the permanent suspension of columnist and commentator Paul Sperry. The suspension came down after Sperry allegedly tweeted about the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago. Sperry said that Twitter gave “No warning, no explanation, reason given.” That is a signature for the company, which has little transparency or ability to challenge such private censorship. …

Obviously, all of those points can be — and have been contested — by others. However, that is the point. Social media should be a place for the exchange of viewpoints as part of our national dialogue on controversies like the Mar-a-Lago raid. Twitter, however, has long dispensed with any pretense of neutrality in limiting such discussion to fit its own corporate agenda.

Turley wishes Elon Musk would follow through on his bid for Twitter to put an end to this manipulative “rules” enforcement:

This is precisely why the takeover of Elon Musk is so important for free speech. The company seemingly wrote off free speech years ago. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was asked how Twitter would balance its efforts to combat misinformation with wanting to “protect free speech as a core value” and to respect the First Amendment. He responded dismissively that the company is “not to be bound by the First Amendment” and will regulate content as “reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.” Agrawal said the company would “focus less on thinking about free speech” because “speech is easy on the internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.”

Musk could rectify such abuses by adopting a First Amendment approach advocated in earlier columns. That includes breaking down the extensive censorship bureaucracy at Twitter, starting at the top.

At least Musk might hire people who can learn from their own history. Twitter pulled the same stunt over the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden in October 2020, only to later apologize for its attempt to bury a true story. In this case, these aren’t facts even in dispute — just inconvenient to Twitter’s political aims and aspirations.

That bias is even more nakedly obvious in this latest attack on critics. And this is why, despite all of Musk’s flaws, the dissenters kept cheering on his bid to strip this social-media platform of its manipulators and at least get an opportunity to force it to act in consonance with its proclaimed principles.

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