Shortly after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, his White House began pressuring censors at Facebook and Instagram to remove Americans’ First Amendment-protected posts if they contradicted the regime’s messaging on Covid, according to emails uncovered by the House Judiciary Committee.
The documents detailing the censorship collusion were only handed over by Facebook after the committee threatened to “hold Mark Zuckerberg in contempt,” Chairman Jim Jordan said, “which PROVE that government pressure was directly responsible for censorship on Facebook.”
“These documents, AND OTHERS that were just produced to the Committee, prove that the Biden Admin abused its powers to coerce Facebook into censoring Americans, preventing free and open discourse on issues of critical public importance,” Jordan wrote in a tweet.
The first set of emails sent to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg express concern that “external stakeholders, including the [Biden] White House” want Facebook to “remove more COVID-19 vaccine discouraging content.”
The unnamed employee who penned the email said Facebook shared “the top 100 vaccine-related posts on FB in the U.S.” between April 5 and April 11, 2021.
“While authoritative information dominated the list, the White House was concerned that the #3 post was a vaccine discouraging humorous meme, and they called on us to delete the meme,” the staffer continued.
The meme in question features a picture of actor Leonardo Di Caprio pointing to a television screen. The caption reads “10 years from now you will be watching TV and hear…‘Did you or a loved one take the covid vaccine? You may be entitled…’”
Another email from Facebook’s President for Global Affairs Nick Clegg to his team confirmed that Biden’s Senior Adviser Andy Slavitt was “outraged” about Facebook’s hesitancy to remove the comedic content.
“He was outraged — not too strong a word to describe his reaction — that we did not remove this post which was third most highly ranked post in the data set we sent to him,” Clegg warned.
Clegg claimed to have pushed back on Slavitt by explaining that “removing content like that would represent a significant incision into traditional boundaries of free expression in the US.”
Slavitt, however, reiterated that content that “demonstrably inhibits confidence in Covid vaccines amongst those the Biden administration is trying to reach” shouldn’t be allowed by Big Tech. He reminded Clegg that Covid vaccine skepticism was already banned on platforms like Google’s YouTube.
“Slavitt disregarded the warning and the First Amendment,” Jordan confirmed.
After fielding backlash from Biden’s team, Facebook’s Vice President of Public Policy Brian Rice expressed an urgency to “regroup and take stock of where we are in our relations with the [White House], and our internal methods too” after coming to “a crossroads for us with the [Biden] White House in these early days.”
Behind the scenes, Facebook began prepping explanations it could offer to the White House about why vaccine-critical monologues from then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson were only “reduced and demoted” instead of banned completely.
“The video is receiving 50 percent demotion for seven days as it is in the queue to be fact checked,” the email states.
While private pressure ramped up on Facebook, Jordan noted that the White House and other Biden-led agencies launched a public campaign calling for Big Tech to censor dissidents just a few months after the incriminating emails were exchanged.
By August, Facebook heads decided to ask its censorship team to “brainstorm some additional policy levers we can pull to be more aggressive against . . . misinformation.”
“This is stemming from the continued criticism of our approach from the [Biden] administration,” an Aug. 2, 2021 email states.
Jordan said that as long as Facebook continues to cooperate with Republicans’ investigation, “the Committee has decided to hold contempt in abeyance. For now.”
“To be clear, contempt is still on the table and WILL be used if Facebook fails to cooperate in FULL,” Jordan warned.
Last week, Jordan revealed in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray that the FBI admitted to Twitter that Hunter Biden’s laptop was real on the day the New York Post published its bombshell but then switched its narrative to “no further comment” and refused to acknowledge the laptop’s veracity to any other Big Tech companies ahead of the 2020 election.