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Biden admin asks Facebook to 'change the algorithm' to divert users away from 'polarizing' conservative news, promote corporate media outlets: Report
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Biden admin asks Facebook to 'change the algorithm' to divert users away from 'polarizing' conservative news, promote corporate media outlets: Report

The Biden administration asked Facebook to "change the algorithm" to divert users away from "polarizing" conservative news and promote corporate media outlets, according to a memo recently obtained by the House Judiciary Committee and shared with Just the News.

According to the documents, the White House's digital director, Rob Flaherty, met with Facebook executives several times in 2021 to discuss the platform's algorithm. In particular, Flaherty was focused on reducing vaccine skepticism and steering social media users away from conservative-leaning news sources, including the Daily Wire and Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren, the meeting notes revealed.

Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio confirmed the Biden administration's attempted meddling and manipulation of social media content.

On Thursday, Jordan wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, "The Biden White House wanted to control what you saw on Facebook."

"They questioned whether Facebook could change its algorithm so users saw more posts from the New York Times and less from the @realDailyWire and @TomiLahren," he added.

Jordan shared a screenshot of Facebook meeting notes dated April 14, 2021, that claimed Flaherty stated, "If you were to change the algorithm so that people were more likely to see [New York Times], [Wall Street Journal], any authoritative news source over Daily Wire, Tomi Lahren, polarizing people. You wouldn't have a mechanism to check the material impact?"

Flaherty also asked the social media platform what it was doing about articles published by the New York Post "every day about people dying."

"Does that article get a reduction, labels?" he asked, according to meeting notes from March 26, 2021.

One Facebook employee reportedly explained the platform's procedures for removing or reducing the reach of certain content.

"If we can't remove it, at least we need to contain it," the anonymous employee stated regarding the content.

Flaherty pushed further by requesting more information about what the company was "doing to reduce the spread of bad information" to ensure "platforms are not funneling people towards bad content."

"That's our primary concern," he noted. Other meeting notes revealed Flaherty told the platform that it is his "dream for FB to play ball."

Jordan explained, "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."

According to the meeting notes, a Facebook employee told Flaherty, "We remove content that can lead to imminent physical harm. For content that doesn't meet that threshold, we instituted borderline demotions. For example, someone sharing negative side effect posts. Similarly, posts questioning whether you should get a vaccine under a mandate, whether it's government overreach. We demote those."

"That's not false information, but it leads to a vaccine negative environment," the employee reportedly continued. "When it comes to looking at COVID misinformation, it's a different approach. What we normally do is just remove or leave to fact checkers."

Lahren replied to the findings on Wednesday, telling Just the News, "The fact that I've been living rent free in Biden's head is flattering."

"But the fact his team would go to such great lengths to silence me for simply saying I won't personally get the COVID vaccine is disturbing to say the least. Free speech is on its last leg under Joe Biden," she added.

Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro told the news outlet on Wednesday, "The Biden White House's pressure on Facebook to target Daily Wire for traffic reduction is an obvious, disgusting, and predictable First Amendment violation."

"Government action is still government action even when the government is cudgeling private corporations to do the dirty work of censorship," he continued. "We sued the Biden administration to stop the OSHA vaccine mandate, and we're not afraid of taking them to court again to preserve free speech rights. We're looking into all available remedies as we speak."

Neither the White House nor Facebook's parent company Meta responded to a request for comment, Just the News reported.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →