Polling Shows Public Trust of FBI in Toilet in Wake of Twitter Files

Revelations surrounding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s involvement in online social media censorship seem to be making waves in the public consciousness despite the lack of mainstream media coverage.

Earlier this month, Michael Shellenberger, independent journalist, author, and hardnosed climate activist, released his segment of the Twitter files, a series of information releases regarding the internal and previously opaque operations of Twitter, as ordered by Elon Musk before his takeover.

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Shellenberger’s portion dove into the FBI’s involvement in the censoring of the infamous Hunter Biden laptop story, which was released and suppressed in the run-up to the 2020 Presidential election. The FBI actively encouraged social media companies to censor and suppress certain information and prepared to discredit the laptop story even before it was released. This was all despite an admitted lack of intel that the laptop story was  Russian misinformation or that it was false at all.

A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and Miranda Devine’s Laptop From Hell found that 63% of likely U.S. voters support a congressional investigation into the FBI’s involvement in censoring information on social media sites. Only 22% oppose such an investigation, and 15% are undecided. The poll has a three-point margin of error.

Other poll questions show similar numbers. Sixty-three percent of voters believe the FBI likely encouraged social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to “suppress, silence, or reduce the reach of certain political speech and speakers,” including 43% who think it’s Very Likely. The evidence put forward by the Twitter files indicates that this is what happened. Twenty-seven percent, however (27%), don’t think this is very likely, while another 11% are not sure.

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However, when it comes to the overall public image of the FBI is substantially more positive; fifty percent (50%) of Likely U.S. voters have a favorable impression of the Bureau, which includes 20% who with a Very Favorable view. Forty-six percent (46%) now view the FBI unfavorably, including 26% who have a Very Unfavorable impression. According to Rasmussen, these findings have been nearly unchanged since October, before the release of the Twitter Files, indicating their lack of impact on the FBI’s reputation overall.

What’s more, the data shows a clear political bias in attitudes towards the Bureau. While a whopping 74% of Democrats now have a favorable opinion of the FBI,  only 34% of Republicans and 40% of voters not affiliated with either major party feel the same. At the same time, forty percent (40%) of Republicans and 28% of unaffiliated voters now have a Very Unfavorable opinion of the FBI, a sentiment shared by only 10% of Democrats. Despite this, a majority of all categories – 52% of Democrats, 75% of Republicans, and 63% of unaffiliated voters – agree the FBI should be investigated for its involvement in social media censorship.

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Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, soon to take over as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, voiced his “serious concerns” last week “about how and why tech companies suppress, silence, or reduce the reach of certain political speech and speakers.”

The FBI has since attempted to defend itself but did so by stating that the activity revealed by the files is long-standing and wide-reaching. In the same breath, the Bureau called its critics “conspiracy theorists” aiming to mislead the American public.

 


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