Elon Musk Readies for Legal Warfare After Ben Shapiro Exposes GARM Censorship in Congressional Testimony

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On Wednesday, the Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro appeared in front of Congress to discuss collusion between Democrats, the mainstream media, and the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) to silence opinions on the internet that don’t agree with theirs and the info he presented came with receipts. Among the websites being silenced was Elon Musk’s X, and Musk isn’t taking it lightly. He’s now gearing up for war.

As Shapiro pointed out during his testimony, much of this is focused on two fronts. Firstly, there’s censoring and silencing right-leaning websites such as RedState or the Daily Wire so that the information they present isn’t seen by the wider population. Oftentimes, they are labeled as sites that contain “misinformation” or “disinformation,” or as Shapiro notes as his favorite, “insensitive,” “irresponsible,” and “harmful” treatment of “debated sensitive social issues.”

Then, of course, there were the Democrats’ attempts at forcing social media sites to suppress posts and stories that might cause issues for the Democrat Party’s narrative. Anything that challenged or disrupted the narrative they put forth was to be punished or, as some Democrats threatened, the social media sites would be punished: 

In 2017, Senator Dianne Feinstein told lawyers at Facebook, Google, and Twitter, “You created these platforms…and now they’re being misused. And you have to be the ones to do something about it – or we will.”

Social media companies react to such threats. They have responded by adopting the standards of third-party Left-wing “informational safety” groups like the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, or GARM. GARM purportedly sets “brand safety” standards – objective standards by which advertisers and platforms can supposedly determine just what sort of content ought to be deemed “safe” for advertising. In reality, GARM acts as a cartel. Its members account for 90% of ad spending in the United States–almost $1 trillion. In other words, if you’re not getting ad dollars from GARM members, it’s nearly impossible to run an ad-based business. And if you’re not following their preferred political narratives – the ones Kara Swisher and Dianne Feinstein would follow – you will not be deemed “brand safe.” Your business will be throttled.

Shapiro noted that the Daily Wire is a site that experienced this firsthand, as right after Feinstein made her threat, his site saw a “one thousand percent increase in content enforcements over a two-year period.” He also brought up the attack on Joe Rogan at Spotify after he had told the public he was taking Ivermectin for COVID, and Jen Psaki pressured Spotify to take action. 

As the House Judiciary GOP X account pointed out, the moment Musk acquired Twitter, GARM colluded to cut Twitter’s revenue.

Now, with all the information that has come forward, Musk has announced that he has no choice but to launch lawsuits. 

“Having seen the evidence unearthed today by Congress, 𝕏 has no choice but to file suit against the perpetrators and collaborators in the advertising boycott racket,” he posted. “Hopefully, some states will consider criminal prosecution.”

There is one issue, and it’s a pretty big one. 

On July 1, it was announced that X had partnered with GARM. X’s “Safety” account said it was “committed to the safety of our global town square and proud to be part of the GARM community!”

It’s unclear what will happen with this relationship if Musk launches lawsuits against those who wronged X by provoking and assisting in boycotts. What these lawsuits will look like and who they are against is yet to be announced. 

One thing is certain. GARM needs to be dealt with, and there need to be limitations on how much pressure politicians can put on private businesses to do their bidding. As Shapiro noted in his opening statement, the Daily Wire has already filed a lawsuit against the State Department for its alleged complicity with GARM. As Shapiro said of this: 

The First Amendment was not designed to enable workarounds by elected officials. It was directed at Congress. At you. You abdicate your fundamental duty when you exert pressure on private companies to censor speech. And some in this room have been doing just that for years. We in the non-legacy media have been feeling the effects. In the name of the Constitution – and yes, in the name of democracy – it must stop.

RedState will keep on top of the story as it develops. 

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