Is The FTC The Latest Agency To Be Weaponized Against Free Speech? – Cindy Harper 7/13/23


Twitter, helmed by Elon Musk, has petitioned a federal court to annul an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) addressing alleged privacy infringements, describing the FTC’s investigative approach as “burdensome and vexatious.”

In a similar way that accusations have been leveled at the FBI when it comes to suppressing speech, X Corp’s (Twitter’s parent company) move has followed allegations that the FTC is being weaponized against Twitter after Musk’s proposals to create a free speech platform. The FTC was also today accused of potentially violating the First Amendment over the demands it made of Twitter.

Tensions between the FTC and Twitter escalated into a hearing that saw Republican members of the House clash with FTC Chair Lina Khan on her agency’s probe into Twitter and perceived antibusiness sentiments. The FTC’s scrutiny pertains, at least on the surface, to Twitter’s commitment to user privacy.

But concerns over the FTC’s actions have been voiced by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), and fellow Republicans.

They contend that this intense scrutiny stems from Twitter’s choice to support free speech, leading to allegations of politically motivated harassment.

Citing a desire for confidentiality in FTC proceedings and pledging impartial enforcement of law, Khan has refrained from providing the panel with subpoenaed documents linked to the ongoing investigation.

The extent of this scrutiny has led some Republicans to accuse the FTC of exceeding its jurisdiction.

In a hearing held on Thursday, Jordan pointed to details from Twitter’s court documents indicating a sense of influence from the FTC even before commencement of the review….

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