The decade's most triggering comedy
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) released internal Meta documents on Thursday that he said were evidence of the White House improperly pressuring Facebook and Instagram into censoring posts.
The congressman said in a thread posted to X that he was unveiling “Part 1” of “The Facebook Files” — which appears to be a nod to the “Twitter Files” — obtained by his panel only after he threatened to move forward with holding Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress. Jordan said that plan is being placed on hold unless the Big Tech giant stops cooperating with his investigation.
Jordan’s thread, which he said involved “smoking-gun” documents that “prove Facebook censored Americans because of Biden White House pressure,” contained some screenshots of the documents, but not the full correspondence.
“Never-before-released internal documents subpoenaed by the Judiciary Committee PROVE that Facebook and Instagram censored posts and changed their content moderation policies because of unconstitutional pressure from the Biden White House,” Jordan began.
“During the first half of 2021, social media companies like Facebook faced tremendous pressure from the Biden White House — both publicly and privately — to crack down on alleged ‘misinformation,'” Jordan said.
“In April 2021, a Facebook employee circulated an email for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, writing: ‘We are facing continued pressure from external stakeholders, including the [Biden] White House’ to remove posts,” Jordan said.
“In another April 2021 email, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s president for global affairs, informed his team at Facebook that Andy Slavitt, a Senior Advisor to President Biden, was ‘outraged . . . that [Facebook] did not remove’ a particular post,” Jordan said.
“What did the Biden White House want removed? A meme,” Jordan said, posting a screenshot of a meme concerning COVID vaccines. “That’s right, even memes weren’t spared from the Biden White House’s censorship efforts.”
What did the Biden White House want removed?
That’s right, even memes weren’t spared from the Biden White House’s censorship efforts. pic.twitter.com/6BhDxTHsUi
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 27, 2023
“When Clegg ‘countered that removing content like that would represent a significant incursion into traditional boundaries of free expression in the US,’ Slavitt disregarded the warning and the First Amendment,” Jordan said.
“What happened next? Facebook panicked. In another April 2021 email, Brian Rice, Facebook’s VP of public policy, raised the concern that Slavitt’s challenge felt ‘very much like a crossroads for us with the [Biden] White House in these early days,'” Jordan said.
“But Facebook wanted to repair its relationship with the White House to avoid adverse action: ‘Given what is at stake here, it would also be a good idea if we could regroup and take stock of where we are in our relations with the [White House], and our internal methods too,'” Jordan said.
“This wasn’t the first time that the Biden White House was angry that Facebook didn’t censor more,” Jordan said. “According to these documents, the Biden White House demanded to know why Facebook had not censored a video from [journalist Tucker Carlson]. So, Facebook prepped its response.”
“To appease the Biden White House, talking points were drafted for Clegg. Facebook was ready to tell the White House that it had demoted a video posted by Tucker Carlson by 50% in response to the White House’s demands, even though the post didn’t violate any policies,” Jordan said.
“Public pressure mounted as well,” Jordan said, linking to a Reuters article. “In July 2021, President Biden publicly denounced Facebook and other social media platforms, claiming they were ‘killing people’ by not censoring alleged ‘misinformation.'”
“On August 2, 2021, Facebook admitted it was going to change its policies because of pressure from the Biden White House,” Jordan said. “August 2, 2021: ‘[Facebook’s] Leadership asked Misinfo Policy . . . to brainstorm some additional policy levers we can pull to be more aggressive against . . . misinformation. This is stemming from the continued criticism of our approach from the [Biden] administration.'”
“But it wasn’t just the White House. Facebook also changed its policies in direct response to pressure from Biden’s Surgeon General, censoring members of the ‘disinformation dozen,'” Jordan said.
But it wasn't just the White House.
Facebook also changed its policies in direct response to pressure from Biden's Surgeon General, censoring members of the “disinformation dozen.” pic.twitter.com/FvGuoqUlns
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 27, 2023
“These documents, AND OTHERS that were just produced to the Committee, prove that the Biden Admin abused its powers to coerce Facebook into censoring Americans, preventing free and open discourse on issues of critical public importance,” Jordan said.
“Only after the Committee announced its intention to hold Mark Zuckerberg in contempt did Facebook produce ANY internal documents to the Committee, including these documents, which PROVE that government pressure was directly responsible for censorship on Facebook,” Jordan said.
“Based on Facebook’s newfound commitment to fully cooperate with the Committee’s investigation, the Committee has decided to hold contempt in abeyance. For now. To be clear, contempt is still on the table and WILL be used if Facebook fails to cooperate in FULL,” Jordan said.
The chairman concluded his thread by stating, “To be continued…”
Elon Musk, who just rebranded Twitter to “X,” commented on the thread by saying, “Extremely concerning!”
The Daily Wire reached out to Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, seeking comment on the new thread.
Earlier in the week, a spokesperson for Meta said the company delivered over 53,000 pages of documents — “both internal and external” — and made current and former employees available to talk with the committee. “Meta will continue to comply, as we have thus far, with good faith requests from the committee,” the spokesperson added.
Jordan posted “The Facebook Files” amid an ongoing lawsuit brought by GOP state attorneys general over alleged collusion between the federal government and social media companies to censor speech in violation of the First Amendment.
Pushing back against the claims, a White House official told the Associated Press that the Biden administration “has promoted responsible actions to protect public health, safety, and security when confronted by challenges like a deadly pandemic and foreign attacks on our elections.”