Health Canada produces just three emails about the agency’s requests to censor Canadians’ social media posts

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After an eleven-month delay in releasing the access filing, Health Canada has turned over two pages of communications between the health ministry and the social media giant Facebook about at least three requests by the federal government to take down user content.

A June 2023 response to an order paper inquiry of Health Canada posed by Conservative MP Dan Albas documented three separate February 2021 censorship requests by the agency to Facebook to remove users’ posts for “disinformation about lifting a COVID restriction.”

The access documents show the three Facebook posts described in the order paper response to Albas, with the user’s information redacted.

The chummy exchange was between a communications staffer at Health Canada, Maja Graham, Chief of Social Media, Digital Communications Division at Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, and a Facebook staffer whose identity was redacted in the three posts for disinformation.

“I hope you are well, I’m wondering if you could point me in the right direction in terms of reporting some disinformation posts. My team and others have reported them directly through Facebook, but we are wondering if there is a different avenue to report such posts.

We would appreciate your support in removing these posts and other posts sharing these visuals.”

Without proof or further evidence, Facebook quickly took the posts down, and Facebook offered to consider a more streamlined way to censor Canadians.

“I wanted to quickly follow up to confirm that we’ve removed the posts you’ve flagged and we have added this to our list of false claims so we should be able to detect and remove in the future.”
[REDACTED] and I are still working on the best way to flag concerning content with us and will follow up with guidance shortly. For the time being, please continue to send our way and we’ll route to the right folks on our team.

While we’re chatting, I was hoping you could please send links to PHAC’s official social channels. I want to make sure I have the right ones for our event planning.”

The internal documents for this story were obtained through exclusive access filings made possible through donations to a special crowdfund at www.RebelInvestigates.com.

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