Rep. Jordan demands answers from Facebook, White House on actions to censor COVID misinformation
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House Republican Rep. Jim Jordan is demanding answers from the Biden administration and Facebook, suggesting there is "strong evidence" the social media giant is making its decisions on COVID-19 content in ways that "align with certain government-favored policies and positions."
The White House said last week that it has been pressing the company to address posts containing misinformation related to coronavirus vaccines.
Jordan, R-Ohio, in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg obtained by Fox News, requested information about the company’s actions to "censor certain speech on its platform at the behest of the Biden administration."
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"The U.S. Constitution protects the right of Americans to speak freely without fear of government intrusion. While the government is free to encourage citizens to engage in certain favored behavior, the government generally may not proscribe or impede speech because it disagrees with the ideas expressed," Jordan wrote, adding that the government "also may not use a private party to engage in behavior that it cannot engage in itself."
"While a private party is generally not subject to the same restrictions on behavior that the Constitution places on the government, a private party may nonetheless violate an individual’s constitutional rights when it engages in conduct on behalf of the government," Jordan added.
Jordan went on to accuse Facebook of censoring certain content throughout the COVID-19 pandemic on its platform.
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"Facebook’s censorship decisions have not occurred in a vacuum," Jordan wrote. "There is now strong evidence that Facebook may be making content-moderation decisions regarding COVID-19 at the behest of the government or to align with certain government-favored policies and positions."
Jordan also accused Facebook of promoting information pushed by government officials that "later turned out to be incorrect or unsubstantiated."
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Jordan’s letter comes after the White House, last week, said it had been "flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread misinformation" about COVID-19 vaccines, and urged the company to "take faster action against harmful posts."
Despite Facebook’s communications with the Biden administration related to misinformation, the social media company launched a campaign in February to combat misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and to inform the public on where and when they can get vaccinated.
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