CDC Regularly Called the Shots on Facebook’s COVID-19 Censorship Decisions, Docs Show

Facebook routinely took direction from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding COVID-19 moderation and fact-checking policies throughout 2021, according to documents published Thursday by Reason.

Facebook regularly reached out to CDC staff throughout the year, requesting guidance on the accuracy of claims about both COVID-19 vaccines and the disease itself, in addition to guidance on whether the claims might “cause harm,” according to Reason. The social media titan would regularly make decisions based on this communication, notably reversing its monthslong prohibition on users claiming that COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese laboratory on May 26, 2021, after a conversation with CDC staff the week prior informed the company that, while “extremely unlikely,” the virus having a man made origin was “theoretically possible.”

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