CA Secretary of State’s Office Communicated with Facebook & Big Tech to Remove Specific Social Media Posts for ‘Misinformation’

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In a new series of over 500 pages of documents obtained by Judicial Watch, various officials for the Secretary of States office for the state of California are documented emailing platforms like Facebook for various reasons, some asking for specific social media posts to be removed with a link the the post in question included in the email, as well as the individuals username.

On September 17, 2020, an email was sent to at least 4 members of the SOS’s office with the subject line “Misinformation daily briefing,” where a large list of specific social media posts were linked and quoted that allegedly constitute “misinformation.”

The released documents also include a 30 page “misinformation tracking sheet” that includes some of the social media posts that the SOS’s office has asked big tech companies to remove.

In one specific example, Chris Miller of the CA SOS’s office emailed Facebook Community Operations on August 31st of 2020 with the caption:

Hello,
>
>We have been alerted to a post from the Instagram account handle @[username redacted by Facts First Foundation] that purports misinformation regarding the administration of California’s elections. A screenshot of the post has been attached and this is a link to the profile: [Broken Link omitted by Facts First Foundation]
>
>The post claims that the voting preference of California voters has been changed by Governor Newsom. This is incorrect.
>
>Earlier this year, Governor Newsom issued an executive order that directed California’s counties to send every active, registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot ahead of the November 3, 2020 General Election. This Executive Order was followed up by AB860, which was signed into law by Governor Newsom.
>
>This order only pertains to the November 3, 2020 General Election. The permanent voting preference of voters has not been changed.
>
>There will also be in-person voting options available to any Californian voter that would like to vote in-person.
>

Following this email, Facebook responds saying that the post has already been removed. This prompts Sam Mahood of the CA SOS’s office to email others concerning the “best methods to report posts” after the Facebook team took “way too long (2 weeks)” to respond. Jenner Dresner, also in the SOS’s office, responded saying “Sure – I’m 98% sure this is the one you chased with an email directly to our FB contacts which resulted in it taken down that day.”

Dresner is also documented emailing support to have specific posts removed:

Dresner:

We wanted to flag this Instagram post: [Broken Link omitted by Facts First Foundation] from user @[username redacted by Facts First Foundation]. In the video – the participants claim that Gavin Newsom changed everyone’s voting status to automatic, permanent mail in votes. We are concerned for the spread of this misinformation as it already has upwards of 40K views.

The truth is that because of COVID-19, California passed a law to send every active, registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3rd election, and only the November 3rd election. This does not change individuals voter preferences permanently and this misrepresentation of the method to vote/register this year has the potential for voter suppression and confusion.

Facebook Team:

We have reviewed the following content and can confirm that the content has been removed for violating our Community Standards.

Dresner (to other SOS officials):

Post from this morning was removed (and fast!). Akilah – we can update tracker.

On a separate occasion, a twitter worker offers Mahood his help with removing posts the SOS’s office requests after taking down a specific post sent to him, saying “Thank you for reporting, this Tweet has been removed. Please don􏰃t hesitate to contact me if there is anything else we can do.”

More documents and informations is provided by Judicial Watch, the group which obtained these documents.