Following the revelation that Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in email communication with the country’s top epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, House Republicans sent a letter demanding answers on why the company censored lab leak theories.
According to the Republican legislators, the emails suggest that Fauci advised Facebook to censor the lab leak theories.
Ranking members of the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight Committee, Jim Jordan and James Comer wrote a letter addressed to Zuckerberg demanding answers on why his company censored content suggesting COVID-19 leaked from a lab.
The letter accuses the government of using a private company to violate free speech. It requested Facebook to provide all documents and communication between its employees and government officials.
“In light of Facebook’s subsequent censorship of certain COVID-19 content – including content about the pandemic’s origin – these communications with Dr Fauci raise the prospect that the federal government induced Facebook to censor certain free speech in violation of the First Amendment,” the letter states.
“Facebook’s censorship decisions did not occur in a vacuum, and there are indications that Facebook may have made content-moderation decisions regarding COVID-19 at the behest of certain government policies and positions,” the legislators added.
Until recently, most scientists dismissed the idea that the virus leaked from a lab in China. However, in recent weeks, evidence supporting the lab leak theory has emerged, forcing Facebook to review its COVID-19 misinformation policies.
In late May, after President Joe Biden announced that the lab leak theory needed more investigation, Facebook announced it would no longer flag content suggesting that COVID 19 was man-made.
The legislators gave Facebook two weeks to respond to the letter.