Social Media

Revealed Emails Shed Light on Facebook’s Response to Biden Administration’s Pressure to Remove COVID-19 Posts

Facebook posts removed

Facebook executives feared CEO Mark Zuckerberg would be unhappy when the White House urged the company to clamp down on content regarding COVID-19 posts.

In internal emails and communications, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration urged Facebook to remove content about COVID-19 posts, including theories about its origin and satire about vaccine safety.

According to the Journal, Big Tech gave in to many demands despite some executives pushing back.

In an email regarding the Biden administration’s request to take down humorous content about the vaccine, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs at the time, said, “I can’t see Mark comfortable removing that—and I wouldn’t recommend it.”

Others at the company disagreed with the Biden administration’s content-moderation demands, WSJ reported, with some executives concerned that removing certain posts would only increase vaccine skepticism.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “We may have a significant gap between what the White House wants us to remove and what we are comfortable removing,” a Facebook vice president wrote.

VP expressed regret for removing – rather than demoting or labeling – content that said COVID-19 was man-made, a move that violated Meta’s COVID-19 policy.

Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, said on Thursday that social-media companies have a duty to take into account the effects their platforms have on the American people.

Biden said Facebook was “killing people” in 2021, but later retracted those comments, urging Facebook to control misinformation more effectively.

According to the company, 85% of US Facebook users are either vaccinated or want to be vaccinated at the time of Biden’s comments.

In December 2020, Facebook announced that it would take down false information about coronavirus vaccines. Over the next year, it shifted what it would remove.

WSJ reports that the House Judiciary Committee is investigating the Biden administration’s efforts to address misinformation on social media platforms. The Republican-led committee gained access to internal Facebook emails.

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Editorial Director
I'm Shruti Mishra, Editorial Director @Newsblare Media, growing up in the bustling city of New Delhi, I was always fascinated by the power of words. This love for words and storytelling led me to pursue a career in journalism. In this position, I oversee the editorial team and plan out content strategies for our digital news platform. I am constantly seeking new ways to engage readers with thought-provoking and impactful stories.

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