Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk reacted to a post by author Michael Shellenberger on how social media companies, such as Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc META censored “often-true content” that “discouraged vaccines.”
What Happened: Musk said it was a “constitutional violation” in response to the post that contained a “recently-released email” that showed the Mark Zuckerberg-led company reassuring the White House that they were “censoring ‘often-true content’ that ‘does not contain actionable misinformation’ but was ‘discouraging vaccines.’”
Many think social media companies only censored "vaccine misinformation." But a recently-released email shows Facebook reassuring the White House that they were censoring "often-true content” that "does not contain actionable misinformation" but was "discouraging vaccines." pic.twitter.com/u2McUIviaM— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) January 11, 2023
The email stated that Facebook will remove Groups, Pages, and Accounts when they are disproportionately promoting this “sensationalized content.”
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Why It Matters: In February 2021, the White House reached out to social media companies like Facebook and Twitter over COVID-19 misinformation, reported Reuters.
At the time the Biden White House was trying to ensure that misinformation does not start trending on social media platforms and become a broader movement, according to Reuters.
In November, Musk-owned Twitter abandoned efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 misinformation.
In early December, Musk released a batch of so-called “Twitter Files” that showed that Twitter employees built blacklists to “actively limit the visibility of entire accounts or even trending topics—all in secret, without informing users.”
Users subject to such a measure included Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine, who argued that COVID-19 lockdowns were harmful to children.
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