Ohio Republican accuses Biden administration of coercing Facebook’s content moderation policies

The allegations include claims of external pressure on vaccine-related content and public remarks made by President Biden.

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Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, reaffirmed his claims that the Biden Administration influenced Facebook to censor conservative content. He cancelled a vote to hold Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, in contempt of Congress but shared new documents on Twitter referred to as the ‘FACEBOOK FILES.’ 

According to Jordan, these documents prove that Facebook and Instagram altered their content moderation policies under ‘unconstitutional pressure’ from the Biden Administration. The documents include an email from a Facebook employee stating external pressure from the White House and media to remove ‘discouraging’ COVID-19 vaccine content. 

Jordan also argued that President Biden publicly pressured Facebook on vaccine misinformation. According to Facebook’s COVID-19 policy, the platform aims to remove content that contributes to real-world harm, including vaccine misinformation. A Meta spokesperson confirmed providing additional documents to the House Judiciary Committee. 

The Biden Administration defended its stance, emphasising social media companies’ responsibility. The House Judiciary Committee postponed the vote on holding Zuckerberg in contempt after Facebook’s commitment to cooperation. The committee had previously subpoenaed CEOs of other tech companies over collusion allegations with the Biden White House.

Why does it matter? This debate highlights the importance of transparency and accountability in the government’s interaction with big tech companies. Some argue that influencing or pressuring platforms like Facebook to suppress certain political viewpoints raises concerns about censorship and infringement of free expression rights. However, others believe such interventions are necessary to combat misinformation and ensure the responsible exercise of free speech without causing harm.