The Facebook Files: More Censorship Revealed

Rep. Jim Jordan’s House committee has been trying for some time to extract documents from Facebook relating to the Biden administration’s leaning on that platform to censor content. Jordan eventually threatened to hold Mark Zuckerberg in contempt, and Facebook finally produced the files. Jordan has now released some highlights on Twitter. These documents, similar to the Twitter files, clearly show the administration’s effort to use the social media companies to impose censorship on disfavored ideas.

I believe that in all the instances that have been published so far, the issue is vaccine hesitancy. The Biden administration wanted to censor any dissent from the proposition that everyone must be vaccinated. Here is what Rep. Jordan has published so far:

The administration justifies its unAmerican conduct by claiming that covid was a public health emergency, and lives were at stake if people failed to get vaccinated. Of course, the First Amendment is predicated on the idea that the more important the issue, the more vital is free debate and free exchange of information.

And pretty much everything the federal government does is, at some level, a matter of life and death. Thus, for example, if we continue down the path of “green” energy, there will be blackouts and people will die as a result. Using the Biden administration’s rationale, I could argue that it is appropriate to suppress all advocacy in favor of wind and solar energy in order to save lives.

For what it is worth, it seems to me that the vaccine skeptics were half right and half wrong. The vaccines turned out not to do a lot of good, but they didn’t cause a lot of harm, either. But this became clear (assuming that it is clear now) only after the fact. At the time, it was important that information be disseminated and that people (not just “experts”) debate the merits of various policy approaches. It turned out that the shutdowns, for example, were a disaster. Some of us saw that coming, and it is a good thing that we were able to advance anti-shutdown arguments and data.

It strikes me that everything we experienced during the covid fiasco simply reinforces the importance of free speech.

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