Would you've gotten vaccinated if you'd known you could still get COVID?
'Facebook Files' reveal White House violated First Amendment rights, and the media helped hide accurate information
If you had known in 2021 that vaccines did not stop you from getting COVID, would you have still gotten a shot?
You never got to make that educated health decision at the time because the White House censored accurate information about vaccines, according to the newly disclosed "Facebook Files." The press also pressured Facebook to remove content.
I feel validated because I suspected all this from being censored when I questioned if Pres. Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris wearing masks alone in a car after being “fully vaccinated” meant they could still spread the virus.
White House Pressures Facebook
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan wrote two sets of tweet threads — which he called the “Facebook Files” — that “prove” aides to Pres. Joe Biden violated First Amendment rights by demanding COVID information be removed or censored from the biggest social media platform for political purposes.
Congress obtained the internal Facebook emails and memos through a subpoena and only after threatening to hold Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in contempt. One email from a Facebook employee to Zuckerberg said:
We are facing continued pressure from external stakeholders, including the White House and the press to remove more COVID-19 vaccine discouraging content.
Note that the content being removed is “vaccine discouraging”, not misinformation and not false information. That is a clear violation of First Amendment rights.
In another tweet, Jordan wrote, “The Biden administration also wanted Facebook to remove TRUE information as well.” The internal Facebook memo says the Surgeon General wanted accurate information about the side effects of the vaccine removed unless couched in language that they are rare and treatable.
Facebook said that it already removed “content that explicitly directs people not to get the vaccine”, according to its own policies. But the White House wanted any slight vaccine criticism removed, even a meme you can see here.
Vaccine Dissenters Demoted
Jordan pointed to one memo in which Facebook said it “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.”
The Facebook Files documents start in April 2021, which is also when the company essentially demoted me too. Facebook assigned the Associated Press (AP) to write a fact check about my post questioning if the vaccines were effective. At the time, effectiveness was defined as not getting sick with COVID-19.
Media Fact(less) Checks
The AP’s fact check, which is still online here, was linked to my post with a warning of “missing context.” I wrote on Substack, which protected free speech throughout the pandemic, that the media fact check seemed too coordinated with the White House.
The only fact here from the AP (not sourced, but likely from the White House) is that there were other people in the car. However, this only adds to the government’s failed messaging that getting vaccinated does not mean you are safe from getting COVID nor spreading it.
Now I know from the Facebook Files that the White House was actively involved in censoring all vaccine information.
Did the White House tell Facebook to add the disclaimer to my post because I took the photo from the official Twitter account? Biden staff involvement would explain how the AP knew that there were other people in the car from a photo taken and released by the White House.
Media Pushes Censorship
Jordan's Judiciary Committee did not release the actual documents, so it's unclear which reporters the Facebook employee was referring to when he told Zuckerberg that “the press” was pressuring them to remove content." I hope those media outlets are outted because it’s not the role of reporters to monitor content it doesn’t like on social media.
On the bigger picture of media reporting about COVID in light of the Facebook Files, be sure to readfantastic take on here about this all-time low in journalism. He writes:
This is total corruption of the news. We’re supposed to be in the business of questioning officials, even if the questions are unpopular. That’s our entire role! If we don’t do that, we serve no purpose, maybe even a negative purpose.
There has been very little media coverage of the “Facebook Files”, with only a handful of conservative outlets reporting on the issue. Mainstream media outlets…
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