Missouri AG Alleges Biden Admin Pressured Facebook to Censor COVID-19 ‘Misinformation’

January 10th, 2023 1:08 PM

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey released evidence exposing how the Biden administration pressured Facebook to censor so-called “misinformation” about COVID-19.

One screenshot from Bailey revealed that White House Digital Director Rob Flaherty asked Facebook to “slow down” posts that questioned the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine and that he specifically asked how Facebook’s “demotion efforts” worked. Bailey tweeted that his office "has even more hard evidence that President Biden’s Administration has been working with social media to suppress free speech." 

“I don't think our position is that you should remove vaccine hesitant stuff,” Flaherty wrote in an email to Facebook. “However, slowing it down seems reasonable.” Flaherty specifically sought to know "how much content is being demoted, and how effective are you at mitigating reach, and how quickly?" [Emphasis added.]

Another screenshot revealed Facebook tried to reassure Flaherty that the company was doing everything possible to “demote” so-called “vaccine misinformation” on the platform.

“[I]n addition to removing vaccine misinformation, we have been focused on reducing the virality of content discouraging vaccines that does not contain actionable misinformation,” Facebook said. The platform added that demoted content included “often-true content” at the advice of “experts.”

A third screenshot revealed Facebook told Flaherty that that platform “remove[d] claims public health authorities tell us have been debunked or are unsupported by evidence,” when he asked how the platform handled content that was “dubious, but not provably false.”

Flaherty also asked Twitter to remove so-called “misinformation” online, but was dissatisfied with the platform’s efforts after it apparently refused to censor a video fact-checked by the Associated Press.

This evidence of coordinated efforts to censor certain views online will be used in Bailey’s lawsuit against the Biden administration. Bailey started his term as Attorney General in 2023, replacing former Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who was elected to the United States Senate. Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry sued the federal government for colluding with “Big Tech” platforms to implement one-sided censorship online. Notably, the complaint specifically cited original research from Media Research Center’s CensorTrack database. Last year, MRC revealed its findings of 646 cases in CensorTrack of pro-Biden censorship between March 10, 2020, and March 10, 2022. 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the CensorTrack contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.