On the latest episode of uncovering the Censorship Industrial Complex, Rep. Jim Jordan exposed how the White House used foreign misinformation to get Facebook to do its political bidding.
Jordan released part five of the Facebook Files on X (formerly Twitter) Tuesday which brought to light an alliance between the formerly U.K. based censorship activist organization Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), the Biden White House and Facebook. “Foreign activists at the CCDH feed false info to the Biden White House,” Jordan wrote. “The Biden Admin then uses the full weight of the federal govt to coerce Facebook to censor Americans, Biden’s critics and political opponents, and the truth.”
In March 2021, The CCDH claimed that 12 accounts, dubbed the “disinformation dozen,” accounted for 65% of “of anti‑vaccine content circulating on social media.” But it seems the disinformation complainers became the disinformation spreaders. Jordan said that even Facebook was aware that the claim was false. “First, that 65% stat? CCDH was off by quite a bit. Facebook knew the actual number was closer to 0.05%,” he added
But the White House latched on to the CCDH’s faulty statistic which one Facebook employee later described as “misleading” with “unrelenting staying power.” Within a month of the CCDH releasing its faulty report, “Facebook employees were preparing a draft memo to Mark Zuckerberg about ‘pressure from … the White House’ to remove the Disinfo Dozen even though they did ‘not believe we currently have a clear path for removal,’” Jordan continued, citing a Facebook memo. The alleged memo goes on to note that of the 34 accounts including the so-called disinformation dozen and their affiliates, only six accounts violated Facebook’s policies.
The White House charged ahead with the CCDH’s script anyway. Jordan included screenshots of a memo showing that the White House asked Facebook to disable accounts that had been banned on other platforms and to ban links to websites associated with the 12 disfavored accounts. Facebook was hesitant as it only took those actions in extreme cases with concerns of child safety or dangerous organizations. “We do not and should not ban users from FB or IG because they've been banned by competitors,” the memo reads. The memo writer appeared concerned that excessive action would censor users who did nothing wrong.
By July 2021, Facebook had censored 11 of the 12 and former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki brought up the Disinformation Dozen in a July 15 press briefing. After the briefing, Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg met with the Surgeon General’s Office and employees attempted to prepare “persuasive” information on what had been done about the Disinformation Dozen. Although Facebook had in fact censored nearly all of the accounts one employee tellingly commented that “nothing we say will be persuasive to that crew.”
Jordan wrote that “[b]y August, things hadn’t improved. CCDH’s false Disinfo Dozen stat was ‘routinely cited in the press’ and contributed to FB having a “tough relationship with” the Biden White House,” he added referring to a note written by Facebook staff. Apparently the Biden administration wanted Facebook to be “doing more to address the disinfo dozen actors.” In response “Facebook ‘tailored’ solutions around the White House’s concerns rather than real problems,” Jordan added.
Jordan noted that the House Judiciary Committee “has already demanded documents from Facebook and the Biden White House.” This follows the committee’s inquiries last week when it issued a subpoena to CCDH asking for information on its communications with the executive branch of government.
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