Former Biden Director of Digital Strategy Robert Flaherty suggested Facebook alter its algorithm to promote corporate news outlets over conservative sources, according to documents reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Flaherty made the suggestion in an April 14 call between the White House and Facebook, documents obtained by the House Judiciary Committee show. Flaherty characterizes legacy publications as “authoritative” while calling conservative sources “polarizing,” according to the transcript of the call reviewed by the DCNF.
“If you were to change the algorithm so that people were more likely to see NYT, WSJ, any authoritative news source over Daily Wire, Tomi Lahren, polarizing people,” Flaherty asked. “You wouldn’t have a mechanism to check the material impact?” (RELATED: Biden Admin Told Facebook That Censoring ‘Bad Content’ Was ‘Our Primary Concern’
But that’s not all.
The Biden White House wanted to control what you saw on Facebook.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) August 3, 2023
Flaherty asked the question after a Facebook executive — whose name is redacted — brought up the possibility that public figures’ speech may lead to more vaccine hesitancy, referring to now-Outkick host Tomi Lahren posting that she did not plan to receive a COVID-19 shot.
“I’m uncovering new examples on comments – public figures on comments might be contributing more,” the executive said. “Tomi Lahren post on how she’s not getting the vaccine.”
The subcommittee obtained the documents as part of an investigation into President Joe Biden’s administration’s social media censorship efforts.
The White House also pressured Facebook to censor a video about vaccines in April 2021 produced by former Fox News host and Daily Caller News Foundation co-founder Tucker Carlson that did not breach the platform’s policy, according to an injunction by a federal judge.
The White House, Facebook and Meta did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.