The Trump and Biden administrations reportedly pressured Twitter to censor and suppress information related to COVID-19, according to newly released emails.
Journalist and author David Zweig tweeted out internal correspondence between Twitter and both administrations as part of the “Twitter Files” reporting in partnership with The Free Press.
12. Culbertson wrote that the Biden team was “very angry” that Twitter had not been more aggressive in deplatforming multiple accounts. They wanted Twitter to do more. pic.twitter.com/lZTQV3yKeZ
— David Zweig (@davidzweig) December 26, 2022
The pressure campaign from the White House reportedly began during the Trump administration and continued into the Biden administration, according to Zweig. Both administrations “directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes,” Zweig said.
At the start of the pandemic, Trump official Michael Kratsios allegedly had meetings with Twitter and other tech companies to “combat misinformation” that could cause panic buying and other behaviors, Zweig tweeted. The administration, he claimed, had a standing weekly call with Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other tech companies.
One of the the Biden administration’s first meeting requests with Twitter allegedly was about Covid misinformation, with a focus on vaccines. Biden officials were concerned about “anti-vaxxer accounts,” such as former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson, Zweig reported.
Former Twitter Head of U.S. Public Policy Lauren Culbertson reportedly said in an email the Biden team was “not satisfied with Twitter’s enforcement approach” because it wanted Twitter to “do more” by deplatforming several accounts, Zweig reported. Culbertson reportedly described calls with the Biden team as “very angry in nature” because of Twitter’s perceived lack of aggression on Covid censorship.
Berenson released emails Aug. 22 showing pressure from the White House to censor his Twitter account, following his successful lawsuit against the platform. (RELATED: Ex-FBI Twitter Lawyer Questioned Why Trump Wasn’t Censored Over ‘Optimistic’ COVID Tweet, Docs Show)
Republican state attorneys general are currently suing Biden officials and social media companies, alleging that the federal government colluded with tech firms and pressured them to suppress free speech about COVID-19. The AGs allege the censorship of certain viewpoints constitutes government action and a first amendment violation, according to a court filing.
The Daily Caller has reached out to the White House and Kratsios for comment and will update as necessary.