Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) shared newly subpoenaed internal notes of meetings between Facebook executives and Biden administration officials that show the White House pressured the social media company to censor posts regarding COVID-19.
In July 2021, President Biden told reporters that social media companies are “killing people” by allowing certain statements about vaccines to be posted on their platforms.
“They’re killing people – I mean they’re really, look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated,” Biden said in 2021. “And they’re killing people.”
It’s now widely understood that the vaccinations never prevented transmission of the virus that caused COVID-19.
One internal note from April 14, 2021, shared by Rep. Jordan shows President Biden’s then-Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty putting pressure on Facebook to explain its content decisions.
“We have to explain to President, Ron, people, why there is misinfo on the internet, bigger problems than FB,” the note reads.
The note also says that Flaherty wanted Facebook to “play ball,” and work with the White House on de-amplifying certain posts to the platform.
Flaherty asked whether Facebook could change its algorithm so that users would see more posts from “authoritative” news sources such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, over the Daily Wire and “polarizing people” like conservative commentator Tomi Lahren.
In response these revelations, Lahren took to X (formerly Twitter) Thursday to ask Flaherty and Biden why they were concerned with censoring her posts.
“Excuse me [Flaherty and Biden] but I’d sure like to know why you were so concerned with ALTERING the ALGORITHM to censor and reduce me on Facebook!!! For what? For saying I PERSONALLY won’t get the COVID jab?!” Lahren wrote.
During the same meeting, a Facebook employee (name redacted) explained to the White House that if they can’t “remove” content, they need to at least “contain it.”
Flaherty asked in another meeting on Mar. 26, 2021, whether Facebook was doing enough to reduce traffic on New York Post articles about people dying from the vaccines being shared on the platform.
“I’m curious – NY Post churning out articles every day about people dying. What is supposed to happen to that from Policy perspective. Does that article get a reduction, labels?”
In that same meeting, the note reports Flaherty as saying that he would want the platform to “kick people off.”
In an earlier meeting, on April 5, 2021, Courtney Rowe, President Biden’s head of strategic communications and public engagement for the COVID-19 response team, mocked people from “rural Arkansas” as people who believe everything they read on Facebook as truth.
Another meeting on June 15, 2021, showed Flaherty continuing to press Facebook to do more to “reduce the spread of bad information,” and to make sure that platforms “are not funneling people towards bad content.”
A Facebook employee said in a meeting the following day that the platform applied “feed demotions” to reduce the impact of viral posts.
They also instituted demotions for posts that questioned whether you should get vaccine under a mandate, and posts that questioned “whether it’s government overreach.”
“We demote those,” the employee said. “That’s not false information, but it leas to a vaccine negative environment.”
“The company ADMITTED to the White House that it reduced content of certain posts – even if the posts didn’t violate the company’s terms and contained TRUE information,” Rep. Jordan said Thursday on X.
“These newly subpoenaed meeting notes continue to show the Biden White House’s desire to direct and control content on Facebook,” Jordan said.
You can read Rep. Jordan’s first and second installations of the “Facebook Files” below: