(The Center Square) – U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop is leveraging Twitter to expose how the company worked with the FBI to silence free speech, the latest in a series of his recent posts that have gained significant social media attention.
“The FBI sought to silence constitutionally protected speech & access internal Twitter data to further their spying & censorship regime,” the North Carolina Republican posted Thursday, along with a video clip from a recent House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing. “The Twitter Files only tell part of the story. How much did the FBI pressure other social media platforms, ones w/ even more users & influence?”
The Twitter files refer to thousands of internal Twitter documents exposed by CEO Elon Musk and journalists Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss and others that expose how the company handled numerous issues. This includes its moderation process for a New York Post article on the Hunter Biden laptop controversy; shadow banning; Donald Trump’s suspension from the platform; and FBI communications with the company’s Trust and Safety Team.
The video posted by Bishop on Thursday featured testimony from George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley, a nationally recognized constitutional law scholar.
“The question that gets at me is this,” Bishop says in the 1 minute, 52-second video clip of the committee hearing. “How could the FBI, which is sworn to protect the Constitution, ever justify using intense application of its resources, agents, etcetera, to urge social media platforms to use those standards to take down speech the Constitution protects?”
Turley replied that aside from the legal issues, there’s bigger questions at play.
“It’s a particularly ominous thing to have the chief law enforcement agency performing this role, an agency with incredible powers,” he said. “Here you had the government itself looking for citizens who should be silenced and targeted. That’s a problem in and of itself, whether it also triggers an agency relationship.
“Do we want to go back to the day when governments created those types of lists?” Turley questioned.
Bishop’s post generated more than 70,000 views, with over 1,800 likes and 660 retweets in about 17 hours.
One of his many Dec. 20 tweets about the 4,155 page, $1.7 trillion spending bill now has more than 24 million views. That was the tweet telling the world he and his team were reading the bill and would post "some of the most egregious provisions." Subsequent tweets generated hundreds of thousands to more than 1 million views each.
One of the follow-ups said, “The omnibus contains over $15 billion in earmarks. That’s nearly 700 extra pages – with over 7,000 total earmarks from BOTH parties.”
A Jan. 10 tweet, on Friday, was pinned on the congressman's page. It says the "The Deep State is on notice," referring to House Resolution 12 calling for a probe of the U.S. government and private companies collecting and sharing information. Late in the day, it had garnered more than 500,000 views.
Other Bishop posts to Twitter in recent weeks have also been popular. A Jan. 2 tweet asked why congressmen didn't get Rep. Kevin McCarthy's rules package at least 72 hours in advance. McCarthy infamously needed 15 rounds of voting to become speaker of the chamber.
A post that panned President Joe Biden’s State of the Union on Tuesday generated more than 41,000 views and nearly 850 likes: “This meeting could’ve been an email,” Bishop wrote.