House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) unveiled "The Facebook Files" on Thursday, claiming that the documents implicate the White House in coercing Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, into censoring specific content. This reveal, Jordan indicated, is just the first installment of a series, reminiscent of the "Twitter Files," which have been sourced after threatening to hold Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress.
Jordan released excerpts from the internal Meta documents on social media platform X, asserting these were "smoking-gun" evidence, even though the full correspondence wasn't disclosed, the Daily Wire reported.
He proclaimed that 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.
In the thread, Jordan cited email exchanges from April 2021 between Facebook's top executives and the Biden administration. Notably, an email circulated between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg mentioned "continued pressure from external stakeholders, including the [Biden] White House" for post removals.
Another instance highlighted by Jordan involved Nick Clegg, Facebook's president for global affairs, and Andy Slavitt, a Senior Advisor to President Biden, discussing the removal of a meme related to COVID vaccines. When Facebook expressed concerns over potential infringement on free speech, Slavitt allegedly dismissed it.
Jordan also referenced an internal concern raised by Brian Rice, Facebook's VP of public policy, about a critical juncture in their relationship with the White House. He further insinuated that Facebook, in an effort to mollify the White House, prepared to report the demotion of a video posted by journalist Tucker Carlson by 50%, regardless of the post not violating any policies.
Jordan claimed that not only did public pressure escalate, but also Meta yielded to policy changes due to such pressure from the White House. He pointed to Facebook's admittance in August 2021, indicating plans to brainstorm more aggressive measures against misinformation following continued criticism from the Biden administration.
According to Jordan, these documents provide conclusive evidence of the Biden administration's overreach, coercing Facebook into censoring American citizens, thus obstructing open discourse on critical issues. He stressed that Zuckerberg only produced these internal documents when faced with contempt charges.
In response to Facebook's commitment to cooperate, Jordan stated, the committee will hold the contempt decision in abeyance, but it remains an option should Facebook fail to comply fully.
The thread concluded with an ominous, "To be continued...," and received comments like "Extremely concerning!" from Elon Musk, who recently rebranded Twitter to "X".