Lawsuit hits entities accused of “mass surveillance and censorship operation”

On Tuesday, America First Legal (AFL) nonprofit sued people behind the Election Integrity Partnership and Virality Project in a federal class action, accusing them of conspiring with the US government to carry out online censorship on a mass scale. AFL filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Health Freedom Louisiana co-director, Jill Hines, and The Gateway Pundit news site founder Jim Hoft. The defendants – the Stanford Internet Observatory, its director, and research manager, Alex Stamos and Renée DiResta, University of Washington’s Dr. Kate Starbird, Graphika (a social media analytics company), and the Atlantic Research Council’s Digital Forensic Lab – are alleged to have in 2020 monitored 859 million and tracked 22 million posts as “candidates” for censorship on Twitter along – in the time before the ownership change. We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here. In 2021, in seven months of that year, the focus was on posts about Covid, when AFL says 200 million engagements were flagged and tracked to determine if they should be censored. The lawsuit’s key point is that the said projects and people behind them worked in collusion with the federal government in order to censor political speech and, other than on Twitter, this was allegedly also happening on Facebook and YouTube. What these groups were trying to achieve was to stifle what the plaintiffs considered legitimate political speech around content related to the US 2020 election, (by preventing conservative voices from questioning its integrity), and issues like Covid vaccines and…Lawsuit hits entities accused of “mass surveillance and censorship operation”