Internal communications obtained by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry show that the White House lobbied Facebook to censor Tucker Carlson and others for expressing skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine.
White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty wrote an email to an unnamed Facebook employee on April 14, 2021 complaining about posts that were negative towards the vaccine appearing prominently on Facebook.
“Since we’ve been on the phone – the top post about vaccines today is [T]ucker Carlson saying they don’t work. Yesterday it was Tomi Lehren [sic] saying she won’t take one,” the email stated.
“This is exactly why I want to know what ‘Reduction’ actually looks like – if ‘reduction’ means ‘pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with [T]ucker Carlson saying it doesn’t work’ then… I’m not sure it’s reduction!” Flaherty added.
This is clearly related to the Biden White House’s frustration that Facebook wasn’t rigging its algorithm enough to ensure that such posts were censored from being seen by a large enough majority of Facebook users.
The Facebook staffer responded to the email by assuring Flaherty that the company was “running this down,” meaning acquiescing to the censorship demand.
The communication was unearthed in response to a lawsuit filed by Landry and Missouri’s AG Eric Schmitt seeking to determine whether the Biden administration coerced social media networks to censor content related to the 2020 presidential election and COVID-19.
The files once again prove that Big Tech censorship was carried out at the behest of the government, meaning it was a direct violation of the First Amendment.
As part of discovery, other communications also show Flaherty expressing his frustration with Facebook for not censoring on a broad enough scale.
“Really couldn’t care less about products unless they’ve having measurable impact,” Flaherty raged.
“I still don’t have a good, empirical answer on how effective you’ve been at reducing the spread of vaccine-skeptical content and misinformation to vaccine fence sitters in the now-folded ‘lockdown,’” he added.
The White House demanded “assurances” that Facebook wasn’t going to dilute its censorship policies.
Flaherty also warned Google that such concerns were shared by “the highest (and I mean highest) levels of the WH [White House],” and demanded that the company, which owns YouTube, get a “handle on vaccine hesitancy generally” and resolve to work “toward making the problem better.”
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