By Hudson Crozier
The scoop: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked closely with Meta to manage content about COVID-19 and vaccines on its platforms (Facebook and Instagram) throughout the pandemic, according to emails revealed in an ongoing lawsuit against the federal government.
Constant contact: The CDC contacted Facebook constantly, sometimes daily, telling it what content to suppress or promote. Facebook officials relied on the government to vet specific COVID claims, referred to CDC officials as “colleagues,” and thanked them for “help in debunking.”
One email from Facebook reads, “For each of the following claims, which we've recently identified on the platform, can you please tell us if: the claim is false; and, if believed, could this claim contribute to vaccine refusals?”
Topics they focused on: The CDC told Meta that the claim that “COVID-19 is man-made” is “extremely unlikely.” Meta proudly told the agency it was suppressing “false claims” that “the COVID vaccine is not safe for kids.” After news broke of rare blood clots associated with the vaccine, the CDC suggested that Meta change its algorithms to give more positive content about the vaccine.
Big picture: Reports continue to show that the U.S. government’s relationship with Meta runs as deep as with Twitter. Through various Big Tech platforms, the government is working with corporations to control speech, information, and ultimately public thought. In the most direct legal challenge yet, a civil rights group has joined Republican attorneys general in their First Amendment lawsuit against the Biden administration.