Facebook Removes COVID Posts, Satisfying White House – WSJ

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Facebook officials removed COVID-19 content under pressure from the Biden administration, according to The Wall Street Journal. Internal company emails revealed that posts claiming the virus was man-made were deleted. In July 2021, Facebook’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, asked why they were removing such claims instead of labeling or demoting them. A vice president in charge of content policy responded that they were pressured by the Biden administration and others to take action, but admitted it was a mistake. This email exchange occurred three months after Facebook stopped banning posts asserting the man-made origin of COVID-19. The Biden administration had been urging Facebook to police vaccine-related content as part of their efforts to promote vaccination against the virus. The House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jim Jordan, obtained these emails and accused Facebook of succumbing to government pressure. Jordan canceled a vote on recommending contempt of Congress charges against Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook maintains that its content moderation decisions are independent and not influenced by politics. The White House states it was focused on promoting public health goals, including vaccine adoption.

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