The head of the DHS has castigated Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a withering letter, arguing his platform endangered national security after locking the account of a top border official over a post it alleged to “promote violence.”
The Department of Homeland Security acting chief Chad Wolf penned the letter to Dorsey on Friday, insisting “corporate bureaucrats” should not act as arbiters of truth for the American public, calling Twitter’s move to suspend the handle of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) executive Mark Morgan “unjustified” and “disturbing.”
“The fact that the tweet was removed and the account locked is startling,” Wolf said. “It is hard to understand how anyone believed Mr. Morgan’s tweet promoted violence, threats or harassment. Especially considering the facts about the border wall system support the tweet.”
There was no reason to remove Mr. Morgan’s tweet from your platform, other than ideological disagreement with the speaker. Such censorship is disturbing. Twitter’s conduct censoring US government officials also endangers the national security.
Twitter’s censoring of factual information poses a threat to national security. It should not be up to corporate bureaucrats to determine what security information the American public receives. https://t.co/9WzHcn4HLnpic.twitter.com/4lHJW5vEpZ
In the offending post – which has since been reinstated – Morgan said the CBP was continuing to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to construct a wall along the border with Mexico, adding that “every mile” of the barrier “helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It’s a fact, walls work.”
.@CBP & @USACEHQ continue to build new wall every day. Every mile helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country.It’s a fact, walls work. pic.twitter.com/uT5qP7fmNu
Wolf insisted Morgan’s tweet did not promote violence of any sort and was factually accurate, arguing that the CBP “arrests thousands of violent criminal gang members each year,” rescues young women forced into the sex trade and “intercepts dangerous drugs,” including “enough of the opioid fentanyl to kill every man, woman and child in the United States several times over.”
He also accused the platform of lying about events surrounding Morgan’s lock-out, noting that a Twitter spokesperson gave a misleading quote to the media about how the company revived the account.
“Adding insult to injury – and insult to Americans’ intelligence – Twitter spread disinformation by misrepresenting Twitter’s intentional censorship,” Wolf went on, adding that a company representative told Politico’s Caitlin Oprysko that it reversed the decision on appeal. Wolf said that gave “the false impression that Twitter’s appeal process remedied a mistake, but in fact Twitter’s appeal process failed.”
Twitter actually denied CBP’s appeal. Twitter only reversed itself after controversy and embarrassment escalated.
After being locked out of his handle for some 20 hours, Morgan has since issued a statement about the incident, saying Twitter is “out of control in their clear bias against this administration” and slamming the company for “censorship” that should “outrage every American.”
Back online after Twitter lock out for ~20 hours. @Twitter’s censorship should outrage every American. Not only did Twitter block me from posting, they BLOCKED YOU from the TRUTH. Read my statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/tjNgLn5knx
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