New information has shed light on a previously undisclosed collaboration between the Biden administration and YouTube to tackle alleged “misinformation” on the COVID-19 pandemic and its related vaccinations in 2021. While this has been known for some time, due to previous revelations in the lawsuit against President Biden’s administration for social media censorship pressure, more details have emerged.
This information has been acquired through documents obtained from a source close with the House Judiciary Committee and shared with Fox Business.
Certain internal emails indicate that the Biden administration, with its officials led by then White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty, joined hands with the teams of the Google-owned platform to further their efforts in controlling the spread of the pandemic by promoting vaccination campaigns.
Today, Flaherty is a part of Biden’s 2024 re-election campaign as a Deputy Campaign Manager.
Correspondence established between Flaherty and Google in April 2021 discuss not only their collaborative efforts to combat hesitancy towards vaccines, but also their collective crackdown on misleading information surrounding vaccines.
Flaherty requested data on common trends of allegedly misleading information about vaccines, while offering to partner with dedicated COVID-19 experts from the administration with YouTube for product development.
Email exchanges within Google reveal that the administration’s interest extended beyond the realm of explicit misinformation and crossed into the domain of “borderline content.” Such content, though not essentially violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines, supposedly comes close. This revelation was noted post a meeting that followed Flaherty’s initial request and solicitation for support from Google to combat hesitancy and misinformation about COVID-19.
Flaherty’s pressure against Big Tech companies is something that we previously covered back in January of 2023.
Google employees, in their internal discussions, also acknowledged the administration’s thirst for additional data on vaccine misinformation. In fact, it was quite clear that Flaherty was also interested in content that was yet to be pulled down. Therefore, Google promptly forwarded data to the White House that compiled the total number of videos removed for conveying misleading information related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
YouTube’s Government Affairs team proposed a meeting with the White House to discuss their efforts in reducing borderline content to avoid any potential issues that could flare up.
The discussions steered around the direction of the YouTube Product and Government Affairs teams providing updates on their progress in dismantling COVID-19 misinformation to the White House, Fox reports. This led to a proposal from the Government Affairs team for a direct meeting between the YouTube Product team and the White House staff, to comprehensively highlight the tech giant’s efforts in handling misleading COVID-19-related information. Such a dialogue was seen as an opportunity to pave the way for a future association on varied policy fronts.
Jim Jordan, House Judiciary Chairman and a Republican from Ohio, weighed in on these collaborations. According to Jordan, this collusion between the Biden administration and Big Tech to censor American speech was already known. However, with these internal documents sourced from Google, it was found that the approach extended to YouTube as well. He pledged that the Committees will continue to investigate and aim to protect the First Amendment rights of Americans and put an end to the widespread government censorship.
The ongoing probe into the executive branch’s alleged social media censorship orchestrated by the House Judiciary Committee led to the subpoena of Flaherty on Thursday.
The committee’s chair, Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, earlier in the year summoned the duo, Andrew Slavitt and Robert Flaherty.
Flaherty currently serves as the digital director for the administration, whereas Slavitt is a former top advisor to the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response team.
In attachment letters for the subpoenas, the committee’s obtained documents were referenced, shedding light on the crucial role the pair played in conveying the censorship measures of the Biden White House upon social media platforms.
The subpoena reads: “…the Committee has obtained documents that demonstrate the central role you played in communicating the Biden White House’s censorship efforts to social media companies, including the White House’s demands to censor true information, memes, satire, and other constitutionally protected forms of expression.”
If you're tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.