It was recently revealed that Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs took a part in fostering the censorship of speech on social media.
Per a trove of documents put forth as part of discovery in the case of Missouri v. Biden, the office of Hobbs contacted the Center for Internet Security (CIS), a nonprofit organization that involves itself with government entities and social media companies, to call for a “review” of Twitter posts that alleging that Arizona’s voter registration system had foreign ownership and control.
“This is an attempt to further undermine confidence in the election institution in Arizona,” Hobbs’ office said.
Twitter informed CIS that it would “escalate” the complaint about the posts within 30 minutes, reported the Daily Wire. The highlighted posts were all deleted after about 7 hours. This discussion and consequential action took place on January 7 of last year, one day after protests at the United States Capitol.
“Both Tweets have been removed from service,” Twitter stated.
BREAKING: Email leaks reveal Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was in regular communication with Twitter telling them who to censor pic.twitter.com/j7OsWpxoso
— George (@BehizyTweets) December 4, 2022
Court filings claim that Hobbs attempted to publicize her view that information she disagrees with online is dangerous and should thus be monitored.
“Lies, conspiracy theories, and disinformation pose a real threat to our democracy,” Hobbs posted last April.
Lies, conspiracy theories, and disinformation pose a real threat to our democracy.
Until the legislature is willing to commit to funding robust public education efforts around our elections, open and transparent partnerships like this will continue to be vital. https://t.co/GBs33qlGQW
— Secretary Katie Hobbs (@SecretaryHobbs) April 7, 2021
Hobbs alluded to her work in censoring speech she deems as ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’ while campaigning last September.
“I’ve fought against misinformation and even death threats to defend Arizona’s elections,” Hobbs wrote. “I’ll always fight the spread of misinformation and never back down from telling the truth. We can’t let the conspiracy theories win.”
While some elected officials in our state continue to promote falsehoods about the last election, I’ll always fight the spread of misinformation and never back down from telling the truth.
We can’t let the conspiracy theorists win. We need a change in leadership in Arizona.
— Gov-Elect Katie Hobbs (@katiehobbs) September 9, 2021
The Daily Wire reported on Hobbs’ efforts to enact damage control after news of her work with Twitter to censor others drew controversy:
Allie Bones, Hobbs’ assistant secretary of state and incoming chief of staff, shared a statement with various outlets asserting that it was the secretary of state’s job to not only inform voters, but to get rid of what they deem to not be the truth. Bones dismissed concerns about the government’s control over online speech, insisting that the CIS arrangement was the norm.
The Arizona assistant secretary of state lamented GOP officials who have called for an investigation into Hobbs, alleging that her actions around censorship were taken out of context.
“This email exchange is from January 2021, as shown in the screenshot. Not only was it taken entirely out of context, it has nothing to do with this year’s midterm election,” stated Bones. “This is yet another example of conspiracy theorists trying to create chaos and confusion by casting doubt on our election system. It’s unfair to Arizona voters and it’s harmful to our democracy.”
CIS has notably received nearly $200 million in federal grants since 2010, according to the Daily Wire.