Bombshell Judiciary Report Reveals Biden’s White House Threatened These Companies to Censor

May 6th, 2024 9:42 AM

New details have emerged in a congressional investigation into the Biden administration censorship enterprise that has curtailed free speech on a level unprecedented in American history.

A new House Judiciary Committee report uncovered more of the Biden administration’s collusion with Facebook, YouTube and Amazon to silence constitutionally protected speech. The administration in some cases threatened these companies, pushing them to censor content or change their moderation guidelines, specifically with regards to fighting “vaccine hesitancy” during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“By the end of 2021, Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon changed their content moderation policies in ways that were directly responsive to criticism from the Biden Administration,” wrote the House Judiciary Committee and its Select Weaponization Committee in a May 1 press release. “While the Biden White House's pressure campaign largely succeeded, its effects were devastating. By suppressing free speech and intentionally distorting public debate in the modern town square, ideas and policies were no longer fairly tested and debated on their merits.”

Here are some highlights of the bombshell report:


In February 2021, Facebook began coordinating with the Biden White House to censor disfavored opinions relating to COVID-19. According to an internal email from Facebook, these topics included the theory that COVID-19 was a man-made virus; that the virus leaked from a lab in China; and other “false claims on Facebook and Instagram about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and vaccines in general.”

In an email to Mark Zuckerberg, a Facebook employee revealed that Facebook's censorship of these opinions was prompted by pressure from the Biden administration.

“In February 2021, in response to continued public pressure and tense conversations with the new administration, we started removing the five Covid claims that had been repeatedly debunked by 3PFCs and the eight claims that we had identified … before COVID as widely debunked vaccine misinformation,” the email said, according to the House Judiciary Committee.

Zuckerberg concluded that Facebook had made the wrong decision to “compromise our standards due to pressure from an administration.” 

However, officials like Rob Flaherty, Digital Director of the White House, and Andy Slavitt, a senior White House coronavirus advisor, were not content with this level of censorship. They even wanted memes and other humorous content about the vaccines to be censored. 

On April 18, 2021, Slavitt was particularly incensed by a meme that was featured in Facebook’s data set shared with the White House team and demanded its removal.

According to Nick Clegg, head of Meta’s Global Affairs, Slavitt “‘was outraged – not too strong a word to describe his reaction – that [Facebook] did not remove’ a particular post—a Leonardo DiCaprio meme— ‘which was third most highly ranked post in the data set [Facebook] sent to him.’” 

On April 14, 2021, Facebook held a meeting with the White House to discuss the effectiveness of Facebook’s censorship. 

During the meeting, Flaherty even floated the idea that Facebook could “change the algorithm so that people were more likely to see NYT, WSJ, any authoritative news source over Daily Wire, Tomi Lahren, other polarizing people.” 

The administration also specifically targeted American journalists who were skeptical about the safety of the vaccines, such as Tucker Carlson. 

Flaherty emailed Facebook demanding why a video of Carlson questioning vaccine safety was still widely visible on the platform and questioned its commitment to “reduction” of harmful content.

Flaherty wrote, “This is exactly why I want to know what ‘Reduction’ actually looks like – if ‘reduction’ means ‘pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with tucker [sic] Carlson saying it doesn’t work’ then . . . I’m not sure it’s reduction!” 


According to other emails, the administration not only pressured Facebook to target wrongful opinions but also demanded the censorship of true information on vaccine-related injuries, which caused some consternation on the part of Facebook employees.

On July 21, 2021, a Facebook employee sent a memo to Clegg in which they expressed that employees faced pressure from administration officials to ramp up censorship more than they would like. 

“There is likely a significant gap between what the WH would like us to remove and what we are comfortable removing,” the memo said. “There are some policy mitigations that could get the two parties closer, but Content Policy does not recommend pursuing them.”

Included in this “delta” of content was true, documented information or personal experiences discussing harmful vaccine side effects.

The memo read, “The Surgeon General wants us to remove true information about side effects if the user does not provide complete information about whether the side effect is rare and treatable.” 

Also included were opinions that concluded that the adverse effects of the vaccines were worse than the benefits as well as “humorous or satirical content that suggests the vaccine isn’t safe.”


Ultimately, the unyielding pressure of the Biden administration resulted in Facebook changing its moderation policies.

An internal email sent on Aug. 2, 2021, expressed that Facebook was making the changes because of the Biden administration.

The email said, “Leadership asked Misinfo Policy and a couple of teams on Product Policy to brainstorm some additional policy levers we can pull to be more aggressive against Covid and vaccine misinformation. This is stemming from the continued criticism of our approach from the US administration.”



The Biden administration also actively worked with YouTube to censor similar content with notably less pushback from the video-hosting platform.

In fact, Biden officials disturbingly referenced YouTube as a gold standard for censorship.

According to Clegg, during the April 18 meeting with Facebook, Slavitt expressed that he had attended a “misinfo” meeting with Flaherty and that “the consensus was that FB [Facebook] is a ‘disinformation factory’, and that YT [YouTube] has made significant advances to remove content leading to vaccine hesitancy whilst we [Facebook] have lagged behind.”

On April 21, 2021, YouTube and the White House held another meeting. After the meeting, Flaherty emailed YouTube, requesting more information on “borderline content,” that is, content that didn’t violate YouTube’s policies.

Flaherty expressed that the White House wanted “to be sure that you have a handle on vaccine hesitancy generally and are working toward making the problem better.” He also implied that this concern was shared by Biden himself.

Flaherty said, “This is a concern that is shared at the highest (and I mean highest) levels of the WH, so we’d like to continue a good-faith dialogue about what’s going on under the hood here.”

On July 20, 2021, Flaherty emailed the YouTube public policy team a tweet from a CNN fact checker Daniel Dale that showed his algorithm was presenting him with “anti-vaccine content.” One video was from a Senate hearing featuring Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and the other was a debate on vaccines between attorney (now presidential candidate) Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and legal scholar Alan Dershowitz.

Flaherty then appeared to get confrontational with YouTube and implied they were not upholding their end of the bargain.

“We had a pretty extensive back and forth about the degree to which you all are recommending anti-vaccination content,” Flaherty said. “You were pretty emphatic that you are not. This seems to indicate that you are. What is going on here?”

On Aug. 23, 2021, Flaherty pushed YouTube to act as a propaganda arm for the Biden White House to “push” the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine. 

Flaherty’s email said, “We’d appreciate a push here, given the fact that this is an oft-cited blocker for many people.”

In September 2021, YouTube worked with the White House to change its policies to remove content that questioned vaccines. 

According to the House Judiciary Committee’s report, YouTube has continued to work with the Biden White House to censor other subjects, including “Russian disinformation,” climate change and even abortion.


The Biden administration also worked with Amazon to demote or remove “anti-vaccine” books on its website.

In response to “feeling pressure from the White House,” Amazon started tagging anti-vaccine books with the same labels designated for “extremist” content.

As previously reported by MRC, Amazon held a meeting on March 9, 2021, with Biden officials to determine if “‘the Admin is asking us to remove books, or are they more concerned about search results/order (or both)?’” 


On the same day, Amazon unveiled a new “‘AntiVax’ [Do Not Promote]” tag to be applied to all vaccine skeptic books.

On March 12, 2024, an internal email announced the online retailer was going to hold another meeting to “take a closer look at books related to vaccine misinformation and debat[e] additional steps Amazon might want to take to reduce the visibility of these titles.”

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