The District of Columbia (DC) Attorney General (AG) Karl Racine, a Democrat, has subpoenaed Facebook for a wide range of records related to “COVID-19 misinformation” on the platform.
The subpoena was filed on June 21 and demands that Facebook identify all groups, pages, and accounts that have violated the platform’s far-reaching COVID-19 misinformation rules.
It also calls for Facebook to release an internal study that looked at vaccine hesitancy among its users. Media reports on this study in March claimed that it showed that non-rule breaking Facebook content may be causing “substantial” harm.
If Facebook were to comply with this subpoena, it would likely impact millions of users. Facebook has removed more than 18 million pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram for violating its COVID-19 misinformation rules and applied warning labels to more than 167 million pieces of COVID-19 content.
The subpoena is part of a previously undisclosed investigation into whether Facebook is violating consumer protection laws.
Racine’s director of communications, Abbie McDonough, told Politicothat the investigation is part of an effort to ensure that Facebook cracks down on “vaccine misinformation.”