Not long after Joe Biden stepped into the White House in January 2021, his administration took action to apply pressure to Facebook in order to censor the reach of conservative-leaning media outlet, The Daily Wire, and boost the reach of the legacy media outlets, according to meeting notes that were recently given to Congress. The federal government violated the First Amendment right to freedom of the press and freedom of speech by attempting to suppress the reach of a media outlet, simply because they don’t like the point of view they promote.
If they were willing to do this to the Daily Wire, it’s not shocking in the slightest that they would specifically look to silence individuals sharing conservative content. The left wants to silence all opposition in the hopes of creating a hive mind and promote groupthink. You are not allowed to hold a dissenting opinion. You must push leftist ideology or be ostracized.
“The newly released documents, which were reviewed by The Daily Wire, show that Facebook repeatedly confirmed to the White House that it was working to re-engineer its platform in order to accomplish the administration’s directives on suppressing content that clashed with its COVID vaccine agenda,” the report said.
“The meeting notes, first reported by Just The News, detail discussions then-White House Digital Director Rob Flaherty had with Facebook executives in 2021 where the Biden staffer pressured the Big Tech company to moderate content related to COVID vaccines in order to enforce the administration’s policy goals. During one meeting on April 14, 2021, Flaherty asked Facebook about ‘chang[ing] the algorithm’ to push content from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal over news from The Daily Wire and other ‘polarizing’ entities,” it continued.
“If you were to change the algorithm so that people were more likely to see NYT, WSJ, any authoritative news source over Daily Wire, Tomi Lahren, polarizing people. You wouldn’t have a mechanism to check the material impact?” Flaherty went on toask Facebook employees in a conversation concerning changing Americans’ attitudes about COVID vaccines, according to information in typed notes from the meeting.
At the time the meeting took place in April 2021, and in the months afterward, The Daily Wire was actually the leading publisher of political and news content on Facebook. The company was getting far more views and clicks than anything being produced by the NYT, WSJ, and other conservative and liberal websites. This means that the DW was a big money maker for Facebook too. However, the notes from the meeting show officials from within the Biden administration telling employees at the social media giant that it was worried about “misinformation” being pushed on the platform that might cause Americans to be “hesitant” about getting the jab.
Yeah, I’m sure that had absolutely nothing to do with the fact the vaccine was very, very new and still had not been run through vigorous, long-term testing. People were just scared away by the content from conservative sites. That’s that it was. Feel free to roll your eyes.
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“We have to explain to President, Ron, people, why there is misinfo on the internet, bigger problem than FB,” Flaherty is quoted as saying in the notes. “Where issues are, what interventions are, how well they are working, for products, want to engage in things that you know to be effective. I don’t even care about specific methodology, you have better, richer data than we’ll ever have.”
“What are the things driving hesitancy on your platform? What is it? How big is the problem? When you are intervening, how are you measuring success?” Flaherty then asked.
During one point of the meeting, Flaherty became just a tad bit frustrated with the folks at Facebook for not providing some of the information the White House requested and applied pressure by asking the company to “play ball.” You can change that to “do as I asked.”
“I feel like we’re running around in circles. Some partners give us lots of information, some partners tell us to f*** right off. This feels like we’re chasing our tails. If you don’t want to give information, just say that,” Flaherty reportedly stated. “I don’t want to feel like I’m going to a dog and pony show. My dream for FB to play ball. It’s about will we get out of this f***ing mess.”
Editor Emeritus of the Daily Wire and one of the company’s co-founders, Ben Shapiro, spoke with Just the News, where he weighed in on the documents, saying, “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,” Shapiro explained. “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.”