In 2021, documents obtained by FOX Business reveal that the Biden administration collaborated with employees of Google-owned YouTube to address purported “misinformation” related to the COVID-19 virus and its vaccines.
The documents, sourced from a contact close to the House Judiciary Committee, unveil a level of communication not previously disclosed to the American public. This collaboration was part of the administration’s efforts, led by former White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty, to promote coronavirus vaccinations and combat the ongoing pandemic.
Flaherty initiated contact with Google team members in April 2021, expressing interest in their efforts to combat vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. He sought information on trends surrounding vaccine misinformation on the platform and offered government assistance through COVID experts at the White House for collaboration with YouTube.
Following a meeting with Flaherty, Google acknowledged the White House’s keen interest in their decision-making regarding borderline content, which refers to content that doesn’t explicitly violate Community Guidelines but approaches the boundary. Google subsequently provided the White House with the total number of videos removed for COVID vaccine misinformation.
Internal emails at Google indicated Flaherty’s interest in content that had not yet been removed, prompting the Government Affairs team at YouTube to flag the interactions with the White House. The emails highlighted the increasing attention from the White House on vaccine misinformation and the urgency of addressing the issue as vaccine supply outpaced demand.
The Government Affairs team then requested the Product team at YouTube to brief the White House on efforts to reduce borderline content. This urgency was stressed to prevent potential issues from escalating out of control.
The documents also revealed ongoing conversations between the Google and YouTube Government Affairs team and White House staff on YouTube’s policies and actions to combat COVID-19 misinformation. There were requests for direct meetings between the YouTube Product team and White House staff to elaborate on their efforts.
House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan commented on these interactions, stating that the Biden White House collaborated with Big Tech to censor American speech. He emphasized the committees’ commitment to investigating and protecting Americans’ First Amendment rights.
These revelations come approximately a year after the release of the Twitter Files, which sparked a national debate on online freedom of speech. Journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, involved in the Twitter Files publication, are scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to discuss federal involvement in social media censorship and recent attacks on independent journalism and free expression. The White House and Google have not provided comments to FOX Business.