Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg today, demanding answers on the nature of his collusion with NIAID director Anthony Fauci, following the recent publication of email conversations between the two men as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Rep. Jordan noted that Zuckerberg’s decision to work closely with Fauci may amount to government involvement in content moderation, an act that would raise First Amendment issues.
Via the letter:
Big Tech is out to get conservatives. We have witnessed several examples in recent years of how Facebook has censored conservative speech on its platform. Newly released documents indicate that you, personally, communicated with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of Facebook’s subsequent censorship of certain COVID-19 content—including content about the pandemic’s origin—these communications with Dr. Fauci raise the prospect that the federal government induced Facebook to censor certain speech in violation of the First Amendment
Your appeal to Dr. Fauci to serve as an ‘expert’ voice of Facebook’s platform suggests that the government’s views may have directly guided and led to Facebook’s approach to content moderation. This conclusion is bolstered by the circumstances of Facebook’s recent change in its content moderation approach relating to COVID-19’s origins. Shortly after President Biden announced that he had directed the intelligence community to investigate the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook announced that it would no longer censor certain content that effectively includes whether the pandemic originated in a Wuhan lab. It appears possible that Facebook’s altered approach to content moderation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, after ‘consultation with public health experts,’ could have been driven or strongly encouraged by U.S. officials.
Rep. Jordan called on Facebook to provide more of its communications with Fauci, including the following:
- All documents and communications between or among Facebook employees and U.S. government employees—including Dr. Anthony Fauci and other employees of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—referring or relating to COVID-19, including about the origins of the virus, nature of the virus, treatment of or remedies for the virus, or government policies relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All documents and communications between or among Facebook employees referring or relating to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the NIAID, or the National Institutes of Health, including about the origins of the virus, nature of the virus, treatment of or remedies for the virus, or government policies relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- All documents and communications between or among Facebook employees referring or relating to any request by any U.S. government official to censor or moderate content related to COVID-19.
Facebook has not publicly responded to the letter.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.