Judicial Watch: Documents show Iowa officials worked with Big Tech to censor 2020 election posts

Documents show multiple conversations about Judicial Watch posts between Iowa and Facebook officials.
Internet censorship
Internet censorship
(RapidEye / Getty Images)

Judicial Watch says the conservative watchdog group has hundreds of pages of documents that show Iowa state officials pressured Big Tech companies to remove Judicial Watch's social media posts. 

The group said Monday that it had received 624 pages of records from the office of the Secretary of State of Iowa showing that on multiple occasions the Iowa Secretary of State officials contacted Facebook and Twitter to remove Judicial Watch posts.

On February 3, 2020, Kevin Hall, the communications director for the department, wrote to a Facebook official asking the person to help remove a Judicial Watch story, according to a June 2020 open records lawsuit the group filed against Iowa State.

"We’ve been playing whack-a-mole with this false story all day. Is there anything you can do to help?" Hall asked the Facebook official in an email that's part of the document trove. "We’ve told them [Judicial Watch] this is fake. They have it PINNED to the top of their page."

The Facebook official replied that the platform's independent fact-checkers found the story to be false, so a warning was placed on it before users could click on the story.

The official then asked Hall to "Please continue to report violating content to us."

In June Feb. 2020, Judicial Watch, for example, published an article alleging that Iowa had larger voter registration rates than the state had eligible voters. The article claimed there were more than 18,658 extra names on the state's voter registration rolls.