An organization funded by Bill Gates and George Soros is facing a lawsuit for purportedly collaborating with federal government agencies and major tech companies to restrict free speech.
The lawsuit was initiated by America First Legal (AFL), a law firm committed to American constitutional principles and free speech rights. AFL has intensified its legal battle against those accused of working with government agencies and tech giants to censor the public.
AFL has expanded its lawsuit to include the well-funded and prominent Aspen Institute, in addition to its previous targets, the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) and Virality Project (VP). These two organizations have been implicated in systematically suppressing digital free speech during election cycles, with accusations of favoring left-wing candidates and causes by stifling conservative voices.
The collaborative efforts of the Aspen Institute, EIP, and VP with various tech companies and government bodies allegedly aimed at restricting online expression during the 2020 and 2022 electoral periods.
While the Aspen Institute is known for its philanthropic activities, it has faced controversy due to its funding by billionaires Soros and Gates. Between 2003 and 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reportedly contributed over $101 million to the Aspen Institute. During the same period, the Open Society Network, funded by George Soros, provided more than $3 million.
In September 2020, Vivian Schiller of the Aspen Institute hosted an event, which AFL claims was intended to manipulate social media engagement in the event of revelations about Hunter Biden, the son of then-President Joe Biden. Allegedly, Schiller aimed to control the narrative on social media regarding the Biden family’s scandals. Internal Twitter communication files supported this claim, revealing that the scheme was premeditated to craft a controlled narrative about the Biden family’s issues on social media. The case was further substantiated by alleged emails exchanged between the Aspen Institute and key figures in the EIP and VP.
/1 🚨LAWSUIT UPDATE🚨
In May, we filed a class-action lawsuit against “Election Integrity Partnership” & “Virality Project” for conspiring with the federal government to censor conservative political speech.
We just added the Aspen Institute as a defendant. pic.twitter.com/P1qkPQpND3
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) October 24, 2023
AFL has also presented screenshots of purported emails that indicate the direct involvement of the Aspen Institute in the activities of EIP and VP. These emails involved Vivian Schiller and Kate Starbird, who serves as the chairwoman of the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public and plays a significant role in EIP and VP.
“An email chain with Craig Newmark, a major Aspen funder, shows Starbird’s academic collaborator reporting to Newmark about the EIP/VP’s plans for censorship during the 2022 midterm elections, stating that ‘I have a meeting with Kate soon to talk about mid-term monitoring and election response,’” AFL added.