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Emails reveal that Biden White House pressured Facebook to censor vaccine memes, Tucker Carlson videos: 'Worse than anyone could ever have thought'
Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Emails reveal that Biden White House pressured Facebook to censor vaccine memes, Tucker Carlson videos: 'Worse than anyone could ever have thought'

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) provided new damning insights into the lengths to which the Biden White House has gone to suppress speech and views online that it has found undesirable or threatening.

The internal Facebook documents shared to Twitter Thursday were obtained via subpoena by the House Judiciary Committee, which Jordan chairs. They reveal Facebook and Instagram censored content online following "unconstitutional pressure from the Biden White House."

Among the damning documents was an April 2021 email circulated by a Facebook employee, ostensibly on behalf of company CEO Mark Zuckerberg and then-COO Sheryl Sandberg.

The email stated, "We are seeking your guidance on whether to take more aggressive action against certain vaccine discouraging content. We are facing continued pressure from external stakeholders, including the White House and the press, to remove more COVID-19 vaccine discouraging content."

The email specifies that the Biden White House took issue with a "vaccine discouraging humorous meme," which it told the social media company to delete.

The verboten meme in question used the "Pointing Rick Dalton" template, borrowing a still from the 2019 film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," where Leonardo DiCaprio's character points out something on television.

This meme, which the Biden White House wanted erased from the platform, was captioned, "10 years from now you will be watching TV and hear .... 'Did you or a loved one take the covid vaccine? You may be entitled ...'" and apparently shared over 385,000 times.

Jordan noted that another April 2021 email sent by former British politician and Facebook president of global affairs Nick Clegg had captured the Biden administration's apoplexy over the company's tardiness in censoring this meme.

Clegg told his team that Andy Slavitt, who served as a senior adviser to Biden and helped steer COVID-19 policy, "was outraged — not too strong a word to describe his reaction — that we did not remove this post which was third most highly ranked post in the data set we sent to him."

Slavitt, who stepped down in June 2021, was the Biden official who enraged many Americans after telling them they "could have all done a little bit better" and sacrificed more during the pandemic, reported the New York Post.

Despite his company's apparent censorious reflex, Clegg indicated he "countered" the Biden administration's demands, suggesting that "removing content like that would represent a significant incursion into traditional boundaries of free expression in the US."

However, Clegg noted that Slavitt "replied that the post was directly comparing Covid vaccines to asbestos poisoning in a way which demonstrably inhibits confidence in Covid vaccines amongst those the Biden Administration is trying to reach."

Memes related to vaccines were not the only information the Biden administration was actively downplaying at the time.

TheBlaze previously reported that emails recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed the Biden administration knew as early as January 2021 — one month after the Food and Drug Administration first granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — that there were "breakthrough" infections despite COVID-19 vaccination. The administration indicated otherwise and imposed mandates anyway.

The Biden administration apparently wasn't just intolerant of humorous memes but also of the free press.

Jordan noted that internal documents also revealed that the Biden White House pressured Facebook to censor a video from former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. The company appeared willing to at least meet the regime halfway.

One document marked "confidential treatment requested[,] not for distribution" contains talking points apparently drafted for Clegg to "appease the Biden White House," according to Jordan.

The document states that if Slavitt asks "How was this [Tucker Carlson] post not violative?" Clegg could answer, "While we remove content that explicitly directs people not to get the vaccine, as well as content that contains explicit misrepresentations about vaccines, we reviewed this content in detail and it does not violate those policies."

Despite this acknowledgment that Carlson had not violated the platform's policies, the talking points note that his content was nevertheless being suppressed.

"The video is receiving 50% demotion for seven days as it is in the queue to be fact checked," said the document.

Following Biden's July 2021 accusation that Facebook was "killing people" by carrying so-called COVID misinformation, a Facebook document from Aug. 2, 2021, indicates the company got to work brainstorming new rules and policies to impose on users "to be more aggressive against Covid and vaccine misinformation," admitting that "this is stemming from the continued criticism of our approach from the US administration."

Jordan concluded from these and other documents that "the Biden Admin abused its powers to coerce Facebook into censoring Americans, preventing free and open discourse on issues of critical public importance."

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone confirmed to Forbes that the company had provided these documents to the House Judiciary Committee.

This late bout of cooperation appears to have been what temporarily dissuaded Jordan from calling a vote to hold Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress after he had allegedly evaded a congressional subpoena.

Stone indicated the company "will continue to comply, as we have thus far, with good faith requests from the committee."

The New York Post reported that in the wake of these insights into the Biden White House's apparent clampdown on American free speech, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the apparent censorship campaign, saying, "We have promoted responsible actions to protect public health, safety and security when confronted by challenges like a deadly pandemic and foreign attacks on our elections."

Jean-Pierre added, "We have consistently made clear that we believe social media companies have a critical responsibility to take account of the effects of their platforms that they have on the American people."

Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted, "Dem spent years denying there is a system of the US Security State and WH to coerce Big Tech to censor political content they disliked, calling those of us who denounced it 'conspiracy theorists.' Now the evidence is dispositive - more here - so now they explicitly defend it."

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Biden's top Democratic rival going into the 2024 presidential primary, said, "These new documents obtained under Congressional subpoena show the shocking extent of Biden White House's contempt for the First Amendment."

Twitter CEO Elon Musk wrote, "Extremely concerning!"

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, suggested the documents reveal "impeachable censorship violations of our civil rights by Joe Biden."

The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government tweeted, "It was worse than anyone could ever have thought."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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