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META’s ‘Facebook files’ details governments censorship efforts

META Sued For Over $270 Million

Contempt of Congress proceedings against Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has been put on hold indefinitely by the House Judiciary Committee. 

The decision comes as Meta provides the committee with documents disclosing collaboration between Facebook, owned by Meta, and the White House.

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Meta averts contempt vote with ‘Facebook files’ disclosure

The details were delivered to Jim Jordan, House Judiciary Committee Chairman, just before the Committee’s scheduled vote on charging Zuckerberg and Meta with contempt of Congress.

The documents, now referred to by Jordan as “the Facebook files,” emerged after the disclosure of a similar set of files from Twitter following Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the social media company.

Censorship on Meta platforms due to White House pressure

These documents, termed “the Twitter files,” exposed Twitter’s communication with various sources, including the White House, the FBI, and governmental entities in Ukraine, who sought the elimination of viewpoints straying from official narratives. Twitter largely complied.

Jordan now reports that the Committee has obtained new documents from Meta, indicating that Facebook and Instagram, both under Meta’s ownership, succumbed to pressure from the Biden administration to censor Americans.

Biden Admin’s ‘unconstitutional’ influence on Meta’s content

The documents also implicate other parties, including the surgeon general’s office, in this push to suppress information.

Jordan claimed on Twitter that Facebook and Instagram “censored posts and changed their content moderation policies because of unconstitutional pressure from the Biden White House.”

The files suggest Facebook faced immense pressure to remove content deemed anti-vaccine by the administration shortly after Biden took office.

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Biden administration’s influence on Facebook’s policies

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Jordan asserts these documents, among others, demonstrate the Biden administration’s abuse of power to push Facebook into censoring Americans and stifling discourse on crucial public issues.

Emails from April 2021 indicate Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged “continued pressure from external stakeholders, including the [Biden] White House” to delete posts.

White House influences Facebook’s vaccine content censorship

Also in April, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s president for global affairs, communicated with Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to Biden, about “serious—and sensitive” issues needing attention, relating to claims that Facebook was a “disinformation factory.”

The documents reveal a White House-driven strong reaction to a particular internet meme regarding COVID vaccines, comparing it to well-known health-related TV ads.

Despite First Amendment concerns, the White House insisted on its removal, arguing it undermined confidence in COVID vaccines.

White House pressure on Facebook’s content moderation exposed

Internal discussions within Facebook also reveal attempts to manage relations with the White House, including demoting a post by Tucker Carlson by 50%, even though it did not formally violate any rules, and contemplating “creative options” against COVID and vaccine misinformation due to persistent criticism from the U.S. administration.

The surgeon general also reportedly prompted policy changes on Facebook.

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Contempt proceedings loom for Meta in future non-compliance

Despite Meta’s recent compliance, Jordan warns contempt proceedings could still proceed in case of future noncompliance, stressing that Meta’s document submission was only prompted by the threat of holding Zuckerberg in contempt.

Jordan’s critique came more than five months after the Committee’s initial request for the materials on February 15.


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