Emails Confirm Biden Administration Communicated With Big Tech Concerning Covid-19 Misinformation

2022-09-06 03:00 PM sirpenski
2022-09-06 03:00 PM
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Back on May 5, 2022, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed suit against President Biden and other top-ranking government officials for allegedly working with social media giants such as Meta, Twitter, and Youtube to censor and suppress free speech. An overview can be found here

As of 09/01/2022, in response to discovery requests, the U.S. government has provided to plaintiffs, some redacted copies of Facebook and Twitter originated emails that were sent to the Centers For Disease And Control (CDC) personnel and for which they received a reply. These are narrowly scoped to covid-19 misinformation. Links to them are listed at the end for convenience.

My overall general interpretation of the email content is:

The emails provided by the Federal Government as of 09/01/2022, and made public by the Missouri Attorneys General, DID NOT show the Federal Government directing Facebook (Meta) or Twitter to censor user posts.

What the emails do show however, is troubling.

  • Facebook and Twitter were engaged in censoring user posts regarding Covid-19. Note though, this is legal as it is protected under the private property bundle of rights. But for the user, this is a shady practice as the user was not provided access to ALL user speech.
  • The Federal Government, particularly the CDC, DID HAVE INPUT to the user post (speech) censoring process of Facebook and Twitter. This is important as it shows THERE WAS A CONNECTION between social media companies and the federal government. Note though, it is not illegal for a company to seek outside input into crafting an internal policy or process. Doctors, lawyers, consultants and even the federal government are all used as reference.
  • There were weekly meetings between social media companies and the federal government concerning covid-19 disinformation. The question one must now ask is, "At those meetings, did the Federal Government provide direction to the social media companies?" Only transcripts of said meetings will answer this.
  • The CDC held an optional "Be On The Lookout For" (BOLO) meeting that social media companies were invited to attend. Whether the CDC provided instruction as to what social media companies were to do when the "be on the lookout for" items where encountered is also a question that must be asked. As per usual, only the transcripts of said BOLO meetings will provide insight.

Other Takeaways

  • Facebook had a very robust, aggressive user post censoring process.
  • Effective 02/11/2022 and long since prior, Facebook had been censoring user posts that addressed subject matter the CDC confirmed to have been false. The subject matter includes
    • Claims that COVID-19 vaccines do not exist or have not been approved.
    • Claims that COVID-19 vaccines are not approved by the FDA.
    • Claims that COVID-19 causes death, ALS, MS, Autism, Miscarriage, Infertility, Birth Defects, Shedding, Altering DNA, Blood Clots (exclusions apply), Alzheimers, Bells Palsy, Erectile Dysfunction, Cancer, Diabetes, Autoimmune Disease, Antibody-Dependent Enhancement, Weakened Immune System, AIDS, Heart Attacks (myocarditis exclusion) MS-C, Magnetism, CytoToxicity, Breast Milk quality, and other irrational side effects.
    • Claims about vaccine efficacy.
    • Claims about vaccine development methodology.
    • Claims including conspiracy theiroes about vaccine or vaccine program.
    • Claims that something other than COVID-19 vaccine can vaccinate one against COVID-19.
    • Claims that COVID-19 vaccine kills or seriously harms people and that it leads to any of the following side effects including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers, Ataxia, Huntingtons, Parkinsons, Motor Neuron Disease, Multiple System Atrophy, Progressive Supranulear Palsy, and Vulvar Aphthous Ulcers.
    The email supporting this can be found at the Missouri Attorney's General Website.
  • Twitter was looking for CDC guidance as to what type of information to censor; particularly those that involved fraud. The email supporting this can be found as well at the Missouri Attorney's General Website.

Cause For Concern

As was stated in an email dated 02/11/2022, Facebook had been censoring user posts that claimed the COVID-19 vaccine leads to Motor Neuron Disease. However, in an email dated 07/28/2021, the CDC provided information that "Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) was a possible side effect of the COVID vaccine." Now MedlinePlus defines Guillain-Barre as an autoimmune disorder that affects the nerves. Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system malfunctions and attacks the body's own tissues and organs. MedlinePlus further goes on to state that Guillain-Barre syndrome can affect the neurons that control muscle movement (motor neurons).

As can be seen, Facebook was improperly censoring user posts that stated a relationship existed between the COVID-19 vaccine and Motor Neuron Disease. It is highly unlikely the CDC supported this action since it was the CDC itself that alerted about Guillane-Barr. Thus, the question has to be asked as to whether Facebook went out on its own and implemented the censoring or did they receive information / instruction from somewhere else other than CDC?

The whole idea of Social Media companies censoring medically related posts is troubling overall. Using Facebook as an example. Was Facebook engaging in medical advice by suppressing, editing, labeling user posts that referenced the correlation between COVID-19 vaccine and motor neuron disease? Was, Is the censoring action even considered medical advice? The definition of medical advice differs from state to state. Findlaw states that "advice may be the practice of medicine when the advice is specific to a particular person's illness or injury."

The bottom line is that social media companies have work to do if they are going to implement censoring of medically oriented user posts. There is a fine balance that must be attained between ensuring public safety, especially in times of public health emergencies, and not appearing to dispense medical advice. Section 230 protects the social media companies from being held liable as a result of claims made in user posts. However, Section 230 doesn't apply to the social media companies themselves when they make medically oriented public statements.


Yes, there is cause for concern that the federal government might have directed social media companies to perform certain user post censoring acts. The existence of the "Be On The Lookout for" meeting alone supports this. Also, because the emails show direct communication (and weekly meetings) between social media and federal government personnel, the possibility of social media companies functioning as an extension of the federal government just got a little greater too.

Discovery Email Index

The following emails were sourced from the Missouri Attorney's General Website.

Dates Item
04/08/2021 - 04/16/2021 Twitter - CDC Email Chain
04/16/2021 Twitter Vaccine Info Briefing Invite
05/11/2021 CDC Be On The Lookout Meeting Invite.
05/28/2021-07/31/2021 Facebook - HHS Email Chain
07/16/2021-07/19/2021 Facebook - HHS Email Chain
07/20/2021 HHS - Facebook Account Takedown Request
07/26/2021 - 07/28/2021 Facebook - CDC Email Chain
01/06/2022 - 01/07/2022 Facebook - CDC Email Chain
02/11/2022 - 06/01/2022 Facebook - CDC
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