Lawsuit Reveals Dozens in Biden Admin Worked with Big Tech to Suppress Free Speech in Online Coronavirus Discourse

US President Joe Biden speaks at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pe
Hannah Beier/Bloomberg vi, Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Imagesa Getty Images

The Biden administration and big tech allegedly colluded to suppress free speech during the pandemic with at least 88 separate communications, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt revealed Thursday.

Missouri and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in May filed a lawsuit that sought to “expose how top Biden Administration officials allegedly colluded with social media companies to censor freedom of speech on a number of topics, including COVID-19,” Schmitt’s announcement read. After Schmitt won the lawsuit in July, the Department of Justice (DOJ) was forced to reveal to the plaintiff in total 88 communications between the Biden administration and social media companies that show how the Biden administration and big tech worked together to “censor freedom of speech.”

“In response to Missouri and Louisiana’s interrogatories, defendants identified 45 federal officials at DHS, CISA, the CDC, NIAID, and the Office of the Surgeon General (all of which are contained in either DHS or HHS) that communicate with social media platforms about “misinformation” and censorship,” Schmitt wrote. “Beyond DOJ, Meta identified 32 additional federal officials including White House Officials who communicated with them, and YouTube identified 11 federal officials including White House Officials who communicated with them, many of whom were not disclosed by DOJ.”

Schmitt gave specific examples of how the Biden administration and big tech allegedly coordinated to suppress free speech on the platforms:

A senior FB official sent an email to the Surgeon General stating, “I know our teams met today to better understand the scope of what the White House expects from us on misinformation going forward.” This email chain follows the SG’s “misinformation health advisory” in July 2021.

The same senior official sent a later email to HHS and noted, “Thanks again for taking the time to meet earlier today.” Then, the official continued to discuss how Facebook is taking even more steps to censor freedom of speech.

Further communications show that Facebook is “increasing the strength of our demotions for COVID and vaccine-related content that third party fact checkers rate as ‘Partly False’ or ‘Missing Context.’

That content will now be demoted at the same strength that we demote any content on our platform rated ‘False.’”

Twitter scheduled a meeting to debrief top White House Officials on “vaccine misinformation.”

Schmitt also stated there were moments when Facebook would not want to comply with the administration’s alleged demands for censorship until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave their input or debunked the claims the administration allegedly wanted suppressed. Schmitt even conveyed the CDC reportedly wanted to have monthly meetings to review posts on Facebook:

There are several instances where Facebook wouldn’t proceed with censoring freedom of speech on their platform until they had input, or a “debunking” from the CDC. Twitter followed the same course in at least one email.

The CDC also proposed a monthly debunking meeting with Facebook to help them censor free speech as well as regular “Be on the Lookout” calls with major social media outlets.

A White House official was even concerned about parody Fauci accounts and coordinated with Facebook to take them down.

Schmitt additionally revealed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency was communicating with big tech after DHS’ Disinformation Governance Board’s failed launch. The Treasury’s Deputy Secretary was also allegedly communicating with big tech to “influence” its operations:

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reached out to Twitter, Google, Meta, and Microsoft following the botched rollout of DHS’ Disinformation Governance Board:

The Deputy Secretary at Treasury sought to connect with social media platforms and influence operations on social media.
Upon the announcement of Schmitt’s findings, he promised more inflation would be revealed in a second effort to “compel the Department of Justice to turn over communications between high-ranking Biden Administration officials from the White House, Department of State, FBI and others and major social media companies.”
The case is State of Missouri and State of Louisiana v. Joseph R. Biden, No. 3:22-cv-01213 in District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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