The White House continued pressuring the tech giants to censor content that it deems to be “misinformation” yesterday by throwing its support behind the use of Section 230 and antitrust reforms to combat misinformation.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki shared the Biden administration’s support for these reforms when a reporter asked whether the White House would be interested in working with Twitter, “like it has in the past,” to continue to combat COVID misinformation and disinformation.
The reporter didn’t point to a specific past partnership between the White House and Twitter when asking his question but Twitter has previously facilitated a White House Q&A as part of its “work on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation” and reportedly partnered with the White House to promote COVID vaccines. The White House has also admitted that it regularly contacts social media platforms about misinformation and even flags content for Facebook to censor.
Psaki responded to the question by confirming that Biden’s White House is still “engaging regularly with all social media platforms about steps that can be taken.”
She continued by suggesting that Congress should impose reforms on Big Tech platforms. Specifically, Psaki said the White House would support reforms of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (which currently gives large tech platforms immunity from civil liability if they act in “good faith” to moderate content), antitrust reforms, and “requiring more transparency” from tech platforms.
Psaki also commented on Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s recent acquisition of Twitter by warning that President Joe Biden wants Big Tech platforms to be “held accountable for the harms that they cause.”
Additionally, when she was asked about “purveyors of election misinformation, disinformation” having more of an opportunity to speak on Twitter after Musk’s takeover, Psaki said: “The President has long talked about his concerns about the power of social media platforms, including Twitter and others, to spread misinformation, disinformation, the need for these platforms to be held accountable.”
Psaki’s comments are the latest of many calls from the Biden administration for tech platforms to purge speech that the Federal Government deems to be misinformation. Research has shown that the current levels of Big Tech censorship already heavily favor Biden.
The Biden White House’s previous demands for tech platforms to censor misinformation are currently the subject of a lawsuit that alleges these demands violated the First Amendment.