Effects of Biden Administration’s Dominion Over Big Tech’s Suppression of Free Speech ‘Were Devestating’; House Subcomittee Report

A House subcommittee has issued a May report chronicling the Biden administration’s dominion over Big Tech’s COVID-19 censorship efforts.

The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), titled the report, “The Censorship-Industrial Complex: How Top Biden White House Officials Coerced Big Tech to Censor Americans, True Information, and Critics of the Biden Administration.”

The report outlines the Biden administration’s months-long plan to pressure Meta (the parent company of Facebook), Alphabet (the parent company of YouTube), and Amazon to remove online content that challenged the official narrative.

“While the Biden White House’s pressure campaign largely succeeded, its effects were devastating,” the report stated. “By suppressing free speech and intentionally distorting public debate in the modern town square, ideas and policies were no longer fairly tested and debated on their merits.”

The report referenced the Twitter Files, an exposé of internal documents released to journalists after industrialist Elon Musk acquired Twitter, now called X.

The internal documents showed Twitter working in a coordinated effort with government officials to silence political opponents of President Joe Biden and any information that would have cast a shadow over his then-campaign for the presidency.

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“But the most important documents to understanding the Biden White House’s censorship efforts have proven to be internal emails from the companies on the receiving end of White House threats and coercion,” the report said. “After issuing dozens of subpoenas to Big Tech, government agencies, and relevant third parties, the Committee on the Judiciary and Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government began to obtain tens of thousands of documents illustrating the details of the Biden White House’s pressure campaign.”

According to the report, emails reveal that Big Tech employees admitted that they changed their content moderation policies, which included the targeting of satire, because of pressure from the Biden administration.

“For example, internal July 2021 Facebook emails obtained by the Committee and Select Subcommittee show that Facebook understood that the Biden White House’s position as wanting ‘negative information on or opinions about the vaccine’ removed as well as ‘humorous or satirical content that suggests the vaccine isn’t safe,’” the report stated.

The same set of rules applied to removing “true information about side effects” of the vaccine and the origin of COVID-19.

“After a few months, it became clear that the Biden White House’s focus was on alleged vaccine misinformation,” the report said. “In May 2021, Facebook stopped removing content about the lab leak theory, which even parts of the Biden administration consider true today.”

It wasn’t just online content, the report stated, but also books on Amazon.

In 2021, Biden administration officials ran a keyword search for “vaccine” to seek out anti-vaccine books and contacted Amazon’s vice president of public policy to present the results.

“Immediately after the initial email outreach from the White House, Amazon internally accelerated its consideration of implementing a new policy that would disfavor anti-vaccine books,” the report said.

The report said there are striking parallels between the three companies in their timeline for adopting censorship policies because of the Biden administration’s coercion.

“In each case, the companies identified the Biden White House’s censorship requests as ‘pressure’ or noted a fear that things could ‘spiral out of control,’ the report said. “And while there is a difference in how long and in what ways each company succumbed to the White House’s pressure, by September 2021, Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon had each adopted new content moderation policies that removed or reduced viewpoints and content disfavored by the Biden White House.”

The subcommittee argued that these actions, which it continues to investigate as it finds more infringements, are violations of the First Amendment.

The information it gathers will be used to guide “potential legislation,” it said.

The Biden administration hasn’t “adequately complied” with the subcommittee’s request for documents related to the investigation, the report said.

“In order to better inform the Committee’s legislative efforts, the Committee and Select Subcommittee will continue to investigate how the Executive Branch worked with social media platforms and other intermediaries to censor disfavored viewpoints in violation of the U.S. Constitution,” the report said.

The Epoch Times contacted the White House press office for comment.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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