Daily Caller News Foundation
President Joe Biden’s administration exerted pressure on Google-owned YouTube to suppress COVID-19 vaccine information, documents obtained by the House Judiciary Committee show.
Biden’s former Director of Digital Strategy Robert Flaherty told YouTube that he wanted to coordinate on what the popular video platform was doing to clamp down on vaccine-related content, according to the emails posted by Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday. The Biden administration also used its influence to get Facebook to censor similar content, according to previous emails obtained by the committee.
THE YOUTUBE FILES PART 1. BIDEN WHITE HOUSE PRESSURED YOUTUBE TO CENSOR AMERICANS.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) November 30, 2023
“Was hoping to connect again … about the work you’re doing to combat vaccine hesitancy, but also crack down on vaccine misinformation,” Flaherty wrote in an email to Google personnel in April 2021, according to the thread. Flaherty also noted his interest in “ways the White House (and our COVID experts) can partner in your product work” in the same email.
YouTube’s government affairs team expressed concern in an April 2021 email to YouTube’s product team about the White House’s upcoming scrutiny on tech platforms related to people not wanting to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the thread showed.
“Unfortunately, the role of tech in addressing vaccine hesitancy is about to come under a massive spotlight particularly as the supply of the vaccine is soon to outpace demand,” the email reads, according to the thread. “The White House is very interested in our work on borderline content, and more specifically vaccine related content as well as our work to promote authoritative sources for vaccines.”
YouTube has a medical misinformation policy that includes prohibiting certain COVID-19 content. YouTube suspended Sky News Australia in August 2021 after a content review of its compliance with COVID-19 policies.
“While we receive input from governments around the world, we apply our policies independently, transparently, and consistently, regardless of the speaker or the political views expressed,” a YouTube spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The White House did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include a statement from a YouTube spokesperson.
This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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