Hysteria proclaiming Jan. 6, 2021, as a MAGA-fueled “insurrection” against “democracy” is strong as ever one year later. Government agencies, a university and nonprofits are all coming together to develop supposed “political violence”-predicting algorithms in response. The plan could have serious consequences for online freedom of speech.
Now “nonprofit” groups and government agencies, and a Florida university, are looking to use artificial intelligence (AI), or algorithms, to track and predict “insurrection[s]” online, according to The Washington Post. These algorithms can severely limit free speech online if they are used by those who want to suppress alternative views or political opponents.
Among those reportedly involved in the AI push is nonprofit Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), which “monitors and predicts” world crises, according to The Post. PeaceTech Lab in Washington, D.C., which uses technology to resolve conflict, will also be involved. PeaceTech Lab will launch Ground Truth, “an initiative that uses AI to predict violence associated with elections and other democratic events,” in 2022, said the article.
The University of Central Florida (UCF) reportedly has the CoupCast program that allegedly “predicts the likelihood of coups and electoral violence.” CoupCast was given to UCF by Colorado-based “peacebuilding” nonprofit One Earth Future, whose apparently disillusioned executive director Jonathan Bellish reportedly said, “It just seemed to be a lot like trying to predict whether the Astros would win tomorrow night.”
Bellish’s point is valid, but there is another aspect to this predictive AI, and that is free speech. Predictive AI is being used by government agencies like the State Department, Pentagon and CIA. The PostThe FBI was also mentioned in this article. As reported by both, FBI operatives were also implicated in the Jan. 6th events. Revolver NewsAnd The New York Times. Although nothing can be conclusively proven, The Post’s assessment ranks FBI enthusiasm for predictive AI fairly low, such evidence suggests government agencies cannot be trusted to use AI objectively.
Furthermore, the Biden administration has pressured Facebook to censor more on its platform, indicating that the government agencies under Biden may seek to squelch free speech under pretext of stopping “insurrections.”
In fact, Joe Biden’s verified account on Twitter called the Jan. 6 events a “deadly assault” (strange, considering the only people killed were protestors). Biden is being called on to assist with tech reform. However, he and his administration are known for their pro-censorship policies. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) tweeted yesterday that today was the anniversary of “a violent mob” staging “an insurrection.” Klobuchar has repeatedly and aggressively called for far more restrictive censorship of what she deems “misinformation” online.
Conservatives being attacked. Tell your representative to demand Big Tech be held accountable: Tech companies should not deny their users the First Amendment’s freedom of speech. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s Use the contact formHelp us to hold Big Tech responsible.