In an update that should surprise no one, new memos revealed President Joe Biden’s administration asked Facebook to push legacy media outlets over conservative ones like Fox News and the Daily Wire.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) revealed in a third installment of “Facebook Files” on August 3 that Rob Flaherty, the White House’s director of digital strategy, met with META executives in 2021 about propagandizing the safety of COVID-19 vaccines online. Flaherty commanded that the platform “do its part” to combat what he called “misinformation” about the vaccines.
The House Judiciary Committee obtained the internal meeting notes from Facebook after issuing a subpoena. The memo, reported Jordan, made clear that the Biden White House actively pressured Facebook to manipulate its algorithm to promote news content that would encourage Americans to get the vaccine.
Flaherty’s demands are just another documented instance of the federal government’s efforts to silence Americans online, and the House Judiciary Committee is set to question FBI Director Christopher Wray about the targeted censorship efforts. MRC Free Speech America has consistently reported on the “Facebook Files” and “Twitter Files” that have exposed these collusions with Big Tech social media platforms.
“This summary is an indispensable tool for anyone who will be following the House Judiciary Committee interrogation of FBI Director Christopher Wray,” Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider said. “This serves as a resource and road map for everyone trying to understand particular violations or the larger context of the Twitter Files.”
According to the “Facebook Files,” on April 14, 2021, Flaherty asked Facebook to elevate stories from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal over The Daily Wire and Fox News. Flaherty particularly took issue with Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren, who questioned the efficacy of the vaccine. The Daily Wire became a target after it filed a lawsuit challenging Biden's vaccine mandate requiring that companies force their employees to get the vaccine or risk losing their jobs.
“If you were to change the algorithm so that people were more likely to see NYT, WSJ, any authoritative news source over Daily Wire, Tomi Lahren, polarizing people. You wouldn’t have a mechanism to check the material impact?” Flaherty asked according to Facebook's typewritten notes. He added that it was his “dream” for Facebook to “play ball” and acquiesce to the White Houses’s censorship demands.
Flaherty also asked the platform what it was doing to combat so-called vaccine “misinformation” online.
“We have to explain to President, Ron, people, why there is misinfo on the internet, bigger problem than FB,” Flaherty said. Flaherty also asked Facebook to reduce visibility for the New York Post, a particular target for the White House after The Post broke the bombshell news about the Hunter Biden “laptop scandal.”
“I’m curious – NY Post churning out articles every day… What is supposed to happen to that from Policy perspective. Does that article get a reduction, labels?” Flaherty asked Facebook.
Ultimately, Flaherty said, the White House was determined to prevent the “spread of bad information.”
“We’re keen on what platforms are doing to reduce the spread of bad information, that platforms are not funneling people towards bad content,” Flaherty wrote. “That’s our primary concern.”
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