Headline RoundupJuly 28th, 2023

Facebook Reportedly Removed COVID-19 Posts After Pressure From Biden Admin

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Facebook removed content about COVID-19 after pressure from the Biden administration, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal (Center bias).

The Details: Citing a review of "internal company communications," the Journal reported that Facebook executives expressed regret over their decision to comply with Biden administration requests to take down content suggesting that COVID-19 was man-made.

Key Quotes: "Can someone quickly remind me why we were removing—rather than demoting/labeling—claims that Covid is man made," asked Facebook’s president of global affairs in a July 2021 email to colleagues. "We were under pressure from the [Biden] administration and others to do more," responded a vice president of content policy. "We shouldn’t have done it." White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that "We have consistently made it clear that we believe social-media companies have a critical responsibility to take account of the effects of their platforms that they have on the American people, while making independent decisions about the content of their platforms."

How the Media Covered It: The Journal and many right-rated sources covered the story prominently Friday, and many framed it as evidence of unjust government censorship. The Journal highlighted how "Facebook has long said that its content-moderation decisions are independent and not made with regard to politics." Other than Daily Beast (Left bias), no left-rated outlets covered the Journal's report at the time of this writing.

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