Several Florida Republicans are among nearly three dozen lawmakers who are demanding that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explain his company’s close ties to the FBI and its demands to censor information critical of liberals.
Thirty-five GOP House members sent Zuckerberg the letter on Thursday after the social media pioneer admitted on Joe Rogan’s podcast that his company curtailed the flow of the October 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s business deals. That story implicated Joe Biden as getting a cut of the action – something the elder Biden had publicly denied.
In their letter, the lawmakers note that they had previously asked Zuckerberg why Facebook sat on the “explosive” article that clearly was “First Amendment-protected activity.”
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Then they asked again in March 2022, after The New York Times and others finally admitted the Post accurately captured the Biden family’s “influence-peddling scheme.” The lawmakers wanted Facebook to explain its “actions to suppress critical election-related information.”
“Facebook has never provided complete responses to these letters and, in the months since, has avoided any real accountability for its actions in interfering with election-related public discourse,” they wrote.
Now, they noted, Zuckerberg is on the record with Rogan describing “how Facebook’s censorship of the allegations about the Biden family before the 2020 election followed a message from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that Facebook ‘should be on high alert’ for ‘Russian propaganda.’”
“You acknowledged that this official alert from the FBI is what led to Facebook reducing the circulation of the Post’s reporting on its platform, preventing Americans from fully understanding highly relevant allegations about President Biden’s awareness of and involvement in his family’s influence-peddling scheme. Accordingly, we write to request additional information about Facebook’s actions to interfere in free and fair election-related public discourse,” the letter added.
“We have seen in recent months how some in government have sought to use Big Tech to censor divergent viewpoints and silence opposing political speech,” the lawmakers continued.
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“Government-driven and Big Tech-implemented censorship suppress freedom of speech and free thought online in ways that harm public discourse. Facebook’s suppression of the Post article—and allegations of Biden family corruption highly relevant to the 2020 presidential election—following guidance from the FBI is highly troubling.”
They gave Zuckerberg until Sept 15 to answer their previous questions and to supply any documents from Facebook staff that discussed the Post story internally or with the FBI.
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