Jim Jordan: Biden Admin. Leaned on Facebook to Censor Opposition – JP
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) once again has raised the very serious question of whether the Biden administration worked with Facebook to identify and censor Americans who used the social-media platform to express their opposition to Joe Biden.
“Never-before-released internal documents subpoenaed by the Judiciary Committee PROVE that Facebook and Instagram censored posts and changed their content moderation policies because of unconstitutional pressure from the Biden White House,” Jordan posted July 27 on the social-media platform known previously as Twitter.
“During the first half of 2021, social media companies like Facebook faced tremendous pressure from the Biden White House — both publicly and privately — to crack down on alleged ‘misinformation,’” he added. “In April 2021, a Facebook employee circulated an email for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, writing: ‘We are facing continued pressure from external stakeholders, including the [Biden] White House’ to remove posts.”
After posting this information — described in a Fox News article as a “smoking gun” — the Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey told Fox and Friends on Friday that the documents highlighted by Jordan seemed to reveal a level of censorship that was more egregious than that already practiced by the social-media companies themselves:
We knew that Joe Biden had coerced and colluded with Big Tech social media to silence American voices in violation of the First Amendment right to free speech. And what this shows is that not only did he coerce and collude with Big Tech social media, but he actually pushed them further than their own internal censorship policies…. This clearly establishes that Big Tech social media understood that the federal government was making demands and was pushing them beyond the bounds of their own internal policies and memorandum.
Earlier this month, in a suit filed by Bailey’s predecessor Eric Schmitt (now a senator) on behalf of the state of Missouri against the Biden administration claiming the White House had violated the protections of the First Amendment, a judge’s order “blocked key agencies and departments from communicating with social media companies to avoid potential First Amendment violations,” Fox News reported.
Jordan was just getting started, however, with his revelations about attempts at the highest levels of the federal government to force Facebook to spike messages that didn’t support the White House’s narrative.
One targeted message, according to Jordan, was a meme containing the caption “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 to….”
It seems the White House has not only lost its copy of the Constitution, but its sense of humor, as well.
In one of the emails included in the cache released by Jordan, a Facebook executive responded to a request by the White House to remove a post by saying, “This is a significant incursion into the boundaries of free expression.”
In an appearance The Ingraham Angle, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford Medical — an outspoken critic of the government’s Covid policies — called the Facebook exec’s response “a fancy way of saying this violates the First Amendment, for goodness’ sake.”
If the president and his administration are leaning on private companies to take down posts they disagree, there is little room to argue that the White House is not involved in limiting the freedom of speech, not only so essential to liberty, but a freedom expressly guaranteed by the First Amendment.
The truth has nothing to fear from attack. In fact, the truth is strengthened by attack, as such attacks provide opportunities to draw the attention of doubters to the truth, some of whom could be converted simply through the added exposure to it.
That is precisely why, historically speaking, government has sought to gag its opponents: to keep the latter from exposing the lies being told by the former.
It’s true that people should praise the policies of political officials when those policies are genuinely praiseworthy. However, when politicians cause harm without any accountability, it’s a sign of tyrannical power and privilege. In contrast, a free society demonstrates its freedom through the ability to speak openly and hold leaders accountable for their harmful and deceitful acts.
Holding political officeholders accountable, however, requires that citizens are aware of attacks on their life, liberty, or property being carried out by government. We live in a time where social-media platforms such as Facebook are many people’s source of news and information — reliable and unreliable — and to seek to control the content posted on those platforms unquestionably has a chilling effect on others who might otherwise post or publish their own opposition to government policies. Not to mention that it is quite obviously unconstitutional, as well.
We’ll give the last word to Thomas Gordon, who explained the issue very clearly in Cato’s Letter No. 15 published in 1721:
The administration of government is nothing else, but the attendance of the trustees of the people upon the interest and affairs of the people. And as it is the part and business of the people, for whose sake alone all public matters are, or ought to be, transacted, to see whether they be well or ill transacted; so it is the interest, and ought to be the ambition, of all honest magistrates, to have their deeds openly examined, and publicly scanned. Only the wicked governors of men dread what is said of them.
It would appear from the documents put forward by Representative Jordan that members of the Biden administration definitely dread what is — or could be — said about them.