After making the shocking admission that the Federal Government is flagging content for Facebook to censor in yesterday’s White House Press Briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki doubled down on the censorship rhetoric in today’s Press Briefing by calling for users to be banned from all platforms if they post “misinformation” and dismissing concerns that the Biden administration is acting as “Big Brother.”
During the Press Briefing, Psaki was asked to elaborate on the Biden administration’s flagging of misinformation to Facebook and to respond to a CNN report about the Biden administration’s “frustration with what they view as Facebook’s failures to uphold its own policies on vaccine misinformation.”
Psaki responded by framing the flagging issue as simply staying in “regular touch with social media platforms” to make them “aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public health” and engaging with them to “better understand the enforcement of social platform policy.”
She insisted that the social media platforms make the decisions when it comes to content moderation.
Of course, Psaki failed to mention that while Facebook is technically free to make its own content moderation decisions, this outreach about so-called dangerous public health narratives is coming from the same Federal Government that is placing huge amounts of pressure on Facebook’s business through an antitrust lawsuit.
When pressed on whether Facebook’s censorship has been as proactive as the White House would like, Psaki said there are “more steps everyone can take” and suggested that one step that “could be constructive for public health” is for social media platforms to coordinate and implement cross-platform censorship when users post alleged misinformation.
“You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others…for providing misinformation,” Psaki added.
After she was told that Facebook had already removed 18 million pieces of “COVID misinformation” and connected more than two billion people to “reliable information,” Psaki was asked whether the White House finds this “sufficient.”
“Clearly not,” Psaki responded.
She added: “They’re a private sector company, they’re gonna make decisions about additional steps they can take, it’s clear there are more that can be taken.”
Psaki also dismissed Fox News reporter Pete Doocy’s question about a lot of people on Facebook being concerned about “Big Brother watching you” now that they know the White House flags posts to Facebook to be censored.
“They’re more concerned about that than people dying across the country because of a pandemic where misinformation is traveling on social media platforms?” Psaki said. “That seems unlikely to me. If you have the data to back that up, I’m happy to discuss it.”
When Doocy raised the double standard with which The White House flags and censors so-called misinformation, Psaki again dismissed the concerns.
“There are videos of Dr. Fauci from 2020 before anybody had a vaccine and he’s out there saying there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” Doocy said. “So, is the administration going to contact Facebook and take that down?”
Psaki responded by arguing that Fauci said: “Science evolves, information evolves.”
But when she discussed other claims that she doesn’t approve of during the Press Briefing, such as claims that the vaccines cause infertility, Psaki framed it as “information that is irresponsibly traveling” and pushed social media platforms to let the White House know that they’re “taking steps to address it.”
The White House Press Secretary’s comments are yet another example of the increasing collaboration between public officials and private companies that are raising First Amendment violation flags.
Prior to Psaki’s recent statements, numerous reports have pointed to similar public-private sector censorship collaborations. These include a recent lawsuit showing that Democrats have worked with Twitter to flag tweets and get them taken down and a recent letter from Republicans accusing Fauci of advising Facebook to censor lab leak theories.
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