A letter from March of 2021 recently resurfaced on social media platforms, revealing that gubernatorial candidate and current state attorney general Josh Shapiro demanded that social media platforms remove anti-vaccine and "misinformation" content from their platforms.
The March 24, 2021 letter was addressed to then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook Chairman and CEO, with the subject line of "vaccine disinformation."
"In March of 2021, Shapiro joined a letter to Facebook and Twitter CEOs asking them to take away 1st Amendment rights. This is who he is," PA GOP’s Friday tweet read.
"As Attorneys General committed to protecting the safety and well-being of the residents of our states, we write to express our concern about the use of tour platforms to spread fraudulent information about coronavirus vaccines and to seek your cooperation in curtailing the dissemination of such information," the letter, obtained by ABC 27, began.
"The people and groups spreading falsehoods and misleading Americans about the safety of coronavirus vaccines are threatening the health of our communities, slowing progress in getting our residents protected from the virus, and undermining economic recovery in our states."
The letter continued on to state that while " the end of this pandemic is in sight," the attorneys general blamed "misinformation desalinated via your platforms" on delays in vaccination rates.
"A small group of individuals use your platforms to downplay the dangers of COVID-19 and spread misinformation about the safety of vaccines," the letter stated.
Noting updated community guidelines as a "step in the right direction," the letter stated that "however, it appears that Facebook has not taken sufficient action to identify violations and enforce these guidelines by removing and labelling misinformation and banning repeat offenders."
The attorneys general said that "Twitter and Facebook have yet to remove from all their platforms the accounts of prominent 'anti-vaxxers' who have repeatedly violated the companies' terms of service."
They state that an estimated 12 accounts and associated groups and organizations are responsible for 65 percent of anti-vaccine content on the platforms.
"Facebook has failed to consistently apply misinformation labels and popups on Facebook pages and groups that discuss vaccines or COVID-19," the letter continued.
Additionally, the letter stated that "Facebook has allowed anti-vaxxers to skirt its policy of removing misinformation that health experts have debunked, by failing to prevent them from using video and streaming tools like Facebook Live and sites like Bitchute, Rumble, and Brighteon to evade detection."
"We call on you to take immediate steps to fully enforce your companies’ guidelines against vaccine misinformation," the letter concluded. "By effectively rooting out fraudulent information about coronavirus vaccines, you can prevent needless illness and death and hasten our road to recovery."
In addition to Shapiro, signing onto the letter were Letitia James of New York and 10 other attorneys general.
In September, it was revealed that the Biden administration’s CDC held regular meetings and communications with social media companies on how to suppress "misinformation" on their platforms.
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