The Biden campaign has brought on a major proponent of censorship to assist in its plan to crack down on social media “misinformation,” Politico reported Wednesday.
Rob Flaherty, the former White House director of digital strategy, will be one of the leaders of the Biden campaign’s efforts to fight so-called “false narratives” during the 2024 election, according to Politico. Flaherty is a key figure in an ongoing legal case surrounding the Biden administration’s collusion with social media companies to censor content, and on several occasions pressured platforms to take down alleged “misinformation.”
He will now be involved in monitoring posts that the Biden campaign deems “misinformation” from former Republican President Donald Trump and his allies. (RELATED: White House Officials Were ‘Outraged’ When Facebook Didn’t Remove Certain Posts, Jim Jordan’s Released Docs Reveal)
“The campaign is going to have to be more aggressive pushing back on misinformation from a communications perspective and filling some of the gaps these companies are leaving behind,” Flaherty told Politico.
The Biden campaign’s effort will combat alleged “misinformation” about Biden’s past record, the White House’s COVID-19 vaccine policies and alleged voter suppression, according to Politico.
“It doesn’t feel great to have anybody trying to threaten their control or force platforms to be making moves,” Katie Harbath, previous Facebook’s public policy director and a Republican National Committee staffer, told Politico.
Flaherty was involved in a number of exchanges with social media employees regarding censoring information, according to court filings.
Flaherty also emailed Facebook in March 2021 about removing “borderline content,” according to court filings, and questioned Facebook about why they weren’t censoring conservative media outlet The New York Post.
“I’ve been asking you guys pretty directly, over a series of conversations, for a clear accounting of the biggest issues you are seeing on your platform when it comes to vaccine hesitancy and the degree to which borderline content as you define it – is playing a role,” Flaherty wrote in an email, chastising a Facebook employee over a Washington Post article that accused Facebook of spreading vaccine “misinformation,” according to court filings.
“We want to know that you’re trying, we want to know how we can help, and we want to know that you’re not playing a shell game with us when we ask you what is going on,” Flaherty said, according to court filings.
Flaherty and other White House officials met with Facebook in March 2021, according to court filings. Judge Terry Doughty of U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana characterized Facebook as “censoring, removing, and reducing the virality of content discouraging vaccines ‘that does not contain actionable misinformation,'” according to court filings.
Flaherty also chastised a Facebook employee in an April 2021 email, questioning what “reduction” looks like for Facebook after seeing posts by journalists and political commentators Tucker Carlson and Tomi Lahren make posts questioning the COVID-19 vaccine, according to court filings.
“This is exactly why I want to know what ‘Reduction’ actually looks like – if ‘reduction’ means ‘pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with Tucker Carlson saying it does not work,’ Flaherty said, according to court filings.
A federal appeals court partially affirmed a lower court ruling in September that that the Biden administration had violated the First Amendment by coercing social media companies to censor speech in the Missouri v. Biden censorship case.
The White House and the Biden campaign did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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