First Amendment ‘#1 Challenge’ to Censorship, NPR Chief, Ex-Wikipedia Head, Tells Atlantic Council

by State Brief

Katherine Maher calls US First Amendment “a little bit tricky” for sites that want to censor content.

New NPR CEO Katherine Maher, formerly at the helm of Wikipedia, once told the Atlantic Council globalist think tank that the United States’ First Amendment posed challenges for websites that want to censor content.

In video circulated by Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Christopher Rufo on X, Maher tells the Atlantic Council the United States’ Bill of Rights was “a little bit tricky” to circumvent in order to censor “bad information” and “influence peddlers.”

“The number one challenge here that we see is of course the First Amendment in the United States… for is a fairly robust [laughs] protection of rights, and that is a protection of rights both for platforms – which I actually think is very important the platforms have those rights to be able to regulate what kind of content they want on their site,” Maher said.

“But, it also means that it is a little bit tricky to really address some of the real challenges of ‘Where does bad information come from?’ and sort of the influence peddlers who have made a real market economy around it,” she added.

Responding to Maher’s comments, tech entrepreneur and X CEO Elon Musk remarked, “This keeps getting crazier! The head of NPR hates the Constitution of the USA.”

In the same conversation, Maher boasted to the globalist think tank about her efforts to censor information on Covid-19 and the 2020 election during her time chairing the online encyclopedia.

“We took a very active approach to disinformation and misinformation coming into, like not just the last election, but also looking at how we supported our editing community in an unprecedented moment where we were not only dealing with the global pandemic, we were dealing with a novel virus which by definition means we knew nothing about it in real time,” she said.

Maher went on to say lessons on censorship learned by Wikipedia during the pandemic were also applied to the 2020 US election and then to elections in other countries, with input from governments.

“And we’re trying to figure it out as the pandemic went along — and so we really set up in response to both the pandemic, but also in response to the upcoming US election and as a model for future elections outside of the US – and including a number that are happening this year was… We just obviously went through yet another Israeli election. The model was around, ‘How do we create sort of a clearing house of information that brings the institution of the Wikimedia Foundation with the editing community in order to be able to identify threats early on through conversations with government, of course, as well as other platform operators to understand sort of what the what the landscape looks like?’”

Also on Wednesday, footage circulated of a TED Talk Maher conducted in which she expressed that “reverence for the truth might be a distraction.”

Scrutiny of the new NPR CEO’s former statements come as she was criticized by former NPR editor Uri Berliner – who was suspended, but later resigned – who’d called attention to the extreme left-wing bias in the newsroom, as well as NPR refusing to cover certain stories.

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