Officials from the Biden White House and other federal agencies have repeatedly colluded with social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, on censoring COVID-19 stories.
The relationship between the federal government and major social media platforms was unearthed through a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in May.
Though more documents and emails are expected to be revealed as a result of the lawsuit, currently available communications obtained by the offices of the Attorneys General already show a deep relationship between 45 officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Center for Disease Control, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Office of the Surgeon General, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Officials from the aforementioned agencies have communicated with social media platforms on issues such as COVID-19 “misinformation” and, in response, censorship.
“The discovery provided so far demonstrates that this Censorship Enterprise is extremely broad, including officials in the White House, HHS, DHS, CISA, the CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General; and evidently other agencies as well, such as the Census Bureau, the FDA, the FBI, the State Department, the Treasury Department, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. And it rises to the highest levels of the U.S. Government, including numerous White House officials,” explained the Attorneys General.
Examples of emails obtained via the lawsuit include a senior Facebook official emailing the Surgeon General stating, “I know our teams met today to better understand the scope of what the White House expects from us on misinformation going forward.”
The same senior official sent an additional email to the Department of Health and Human Services, noting, “Thanks again for taking the time to meet earlier today.” Then, the official continued to discuss the measures Facebook was implementing to address COVID-19 “misinformation,” including mass removal of pages and individuals from the platform.
Twitter representatives also scheduled a meeting to debrief top White House officials on “vaccine misinformation.”
In several cases, Facebook relied on input from the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) when making a final decision on censoring users or stories.
Twitter appeared to have a similar relationship with the agency in a separate email where an employee from the social media platform discussed setting up “regular chats” to address “problematic content.”
The CDC also proposed a monthly pre-debunking meeting with Facebook to address COVID-19 “misinformation” as well as regular “Be on the Lookout” calls with major social media outlets including YouTube.
A White House official even reached out to Facebook representatives to take down a parody account of Anthony Fauci. The email was sent at 1:24 PM on July 20th and received a response – “Yep, on it!” – from a Facebook employee time stamped at 1:24.
The findings expand upon a previously known relationship between America’s leading social media platforms and the federal government concerning COVID-19 censorship.
“Meta, for example, has disclosed that at least 32 federal officials—including senior officials at the FDA, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and the White House—have communicated with Meta about content moderation on its platforms, many of whom were not disclosed in response to Plaintiffs’ interrogatories to Defendants. YouTube disclosed eleven federal officials engaged in such communications, including officials at the Census Bureau and the White House, many of whom were also not disclosed by Defendants,” explained the lawsuit.
It also follows the same social media platform heavily censoring stories critical of COVID-19 vaccines and of the Chinese Communist Party for being responsible for the origins of COVID-19.