By Dr. Ron Paul
The recent revelation that Facebook took orders from the Biden administration to censor even accurate information about Covid is the latest example of the U.S. government’s disregard for our Constitution. Thanks to Rep. Jim Jordan, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, we now know the extent to which the Biden administration went in its proxy war against the First Amendment.
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Getting the information wasn’t easy. It was only after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was threatened with being held in contempt of Congress that he relented and shared information with the Judiciary Committee about Biden administration pressure to censor Americans on Facebook who disagreed with White House policy on Covid.
What we have discovered thus far is disgusting. For example, in April 2021, a Facebook employee sent a message to top executives in the company complaining that, “we are facing continued pressure from external stakeholders, including the [Biden] White House” to remove posts. In another example, senior executive Nick Clegg complained that Andy Slavitt, a senior advisor to President Joe Biden, was “outraged…that [Facebook] did not remove” a particular post, according to Rep. Jordan’s report.
Rep. Jordan revealed that the “offending post” that the Biden administration wanted removed was simply a joke making fun of possible vaccine injury down the road. The Biden administration even wanted to “protect” us from jokes that it didn’t like.
The administration did not stop at targeting what it called “misinformation.” As constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley noted in a recent column, “The administration also demanded the removal of ‘malinformation’ that is ‘based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.’” So the Biden administration wanted to “cancel” even truthful information counter to its own preferred fake news narrative.
This level of contempt for our Constitution is shocking. As Robert F. Kennedy Jr.—who was himself censored at the behest of the Biden administration—testified recently before Congress: “A government that can censor its critics has license for every atrocity. It is the beginning of totalitarianism.”
Who knows how many thousands of Facebook accounts were banned or restricted at the behest of the Biden White House. Early last year I received notice that my own Facebook page was “restricted” for 90 days because I pointed out that the CEO of Pfizer once claimed that his Covid shot was “100% effective” but later changed his story. The post was completely accurate but, still, my page was targeted.
Although some are using this information for partisan gain against the Democrats in power, Americans should not delude themselves: left unchecked, there is little reason to believe a Republican administration would show any more respect for the Constitution than the Biden administration. Both parties have shown themselves to be selective in their pledged oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution.
It is just as unconstitutional—and thus illegal—for the U.S. government to violate the First Amendment by proxy—through so-called private companies—as if the government directly attacked our free speech. We must remember that the unprecedented U.S. government censorship of Americans during Covid was just the test run. Be assured that when the next “crisis” comes—and it will—the authoritarians in charge will again ramp up the censorship machine unless we do something about it.
Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.