kris mayes
Arizona AG Fights To Keep Government Collusion With Social Media Companies

August 5, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

Attorney General Kris Mayes is fighting to continue government’s collusion with social media to control online speech.

Mayes joined a 21-state coalition of Democratic attorneys general to oppose a federal decision prohibiting federal officials from coordinating with social media companies to control speech. In a press release, the attorney general stated that control over free speech is paramount to public safety, implying that the government’s interest in maintaining this safety outweighed the constitutional right of speech. 

“Social media companies and government officials must have open communication in order to ensure the safety of Americans online,” said Mayes. “A pillar of the U.S. government is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its citizens. The lower court’s decision impedes on this protection and means federal, state and local officials cannot contact social media companies about dangerous online content.” 

In an appeal led by New York, the 19 other attorneys general hail from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

The coalition’s brief characterized speech control as “content moderation,” and argued that the federal government should maintain the ability to do so since it’s been doing it “[s]ince the advent of social media.” 

“[I]n the experience of amici States, information-sharing and dialogue have not been coercive, but rather, helpful in ensuring that social media companies make fully informed decision about their own content moderation policies,” stated the brief. 

The Louisiana Western District Court issued a preliminary injunction last month that barred the federal government from colluding with social media companies to regulate speech on their platforms. 

Arizona leadership from both parties have either called for or participated in censorship. 

Last March, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer worked with the federal government on tactics to control online speech. Richer met with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Cybersecurity Advisory Committee (CSAC) Misinformation & Disinformation (MDM) Subcommittee, all under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

Last September, Maricopa County rolled out a press pass program to control which outlets and reporters could gain access to government proceedings and property. Last November, the county launched a disinformation center and further limited press access. In April, Maricopa County paid a $175,000 settlement for denying press credentials to a reporter under their press pass program because his work didn’t constitute truth in their eyes.

This past March, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) asked the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, and the Federal Deposit and Information Corporation (FDIC) whether they could work with social media companies to censor information in order to prevent a run on the banks.

Gov. Katie Hobbs, while in her former capacity as secretary of state, used the Center for Internet Security (CIS) as a middle man of sorts to censor online speech. Although requests were made for an investigation into the relationship, the transition of power in the attorney general’s office effectively made those requests dead on arrival. 

Arizona government workers have also been trained by the Aspen Institute: the liberal think tank behind the coordinated cover-up of the Hunter Biden laptop story. The institute launched its first Arizona-based leadership program last year with startup funding from Walmart. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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