Republicans Want Answers About Why Facebook Censored the Lab Leak Theory

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Posted: Jun 09, 2021 12:45 PM
Republicans Want Answers About Why Facebook Censored the Lab Leak Theory

Source: (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Top Republicans on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees have a number of follow up questions after it was revealed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg communicated heavily with Dr. Anthony Fauci about Wuhan coronavirus messaging. Despite evidence to the contrary, Fauci stated publicly the disease did not come a lab and Facebook removed posts about the lab leak theory. 

Last week emails published after a Freedom of Information Act Request showed Fauci was told in January 2020 the virus looked "potentially engineered." 

"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 speech in violation of the First Amendment," Ranking Members Jim Jordan and James Comer write. "For well over a year, Facebook has censored various speech related to COVID-19. Facebook censored speech about COVID-19's prevention and treatment. It censored speech about citizens' protests of government-mandated quarantines. Facebook also censored speech about COVID-19's origins."

"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 letter continues. "Your appeal to Dr. Fauci to serve as an 'expert' voice of Facebook's platform suggests that the government's views may have directly guided and led to Facebook's approach to content moderation. This conclusion is bolstered by the circumstances of Facebook's approach to content moderation. This conclusion is bolstered by the circumstances of Facebook's recent change in its content moderation approach relating to COVID-10's origins...government should not enlist private firs to help skirt the First Amendment." 

Jordan and Comer are requesting a number of documents and communications between Facebook, Fauci and government employees.