Democratic senator calls for censorship of information on the financial crisis on social media

Republican congressmen denounced that Mark Kelly asked economic authorities if they could prevent the publication of this content online.

Democratic Senator Mark Kelly asked economic authorities if they had any way to censor information about the federal intervention with Silicon Valley Bank and Signature to prevent it from affecting other banks. According to Republican Congressmen Thomas Massie and Lauren Boebert, Kelly questioned representatives of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) during a videoconference on the situation following the collapse of the two banks. Kelly's office later issued a statement justifying his words, stating that he was referring to the fact that "foreign adversaries could try to take advantage of this situation by spreading misinformation."

Censoring to prevent contagion to other banks

In statements to Public, Massie denounced what happened during the virtual meeting that consisted of some 200 people, including delegates from three federal economic agencies, senators, members of the House of Representatives and staff from both parties.

On our conference call, led by [Senate President Chuck] Schumer, with Fed, FDIC, and Treasury, a democrat senator asked the three agencies if there was a program underway on social media to censor information that would lead to a bank run. I believe he couched it in a concern that foreign actors would be doing this, but he didn’t suggest the censorship should be limited to foreigners or to things that were untrue. The people from the three agencies couldn’t answer him and just sort of took a pass on the question.

"Interfering with freedom of expression"

Republican Rep. Boebert also denounced the events on her Twitter account, highlighting the presence of Treasury Undersecretary Nellie Liang at the meeting where they were discussing the bailout of both banks. "And this administration AGAIN just committed the federal government to interfere with free speech. Unacceptable!" the legislator criticized.

Kelly denies calling for censorship

Senator Kelly declined to make a statement, although his office did issue a statement to the Daily Caller denying the allegations. "The unsupported claim made by this blog post you referenced is false. On the briefing, Senator Kelly asked about *foreign adversaries* potentially trying to take advantage of this situation by spreading misinformation."