On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that President Joe Biden supported social media companies have a responsibility to “stop amplifying” content on their platforms that is considered “untrustworthy.”
Psaki made her comments at the White House’s daily press briefing when asked about Facebook upholding the ban on former President Donald Trump.
Psaki says White House won't comment on Facebook board upholding Trump's suspension, but Biden believes "major platforms have a responsibility related to the health and safety of all Americans to stop amplifying untrustworthy content," especially about vaccines and elections pic.twitter.com/cXblriZQw0
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 5, 2021
Biden Opposes ‘Misinformation’
Psaki would not weigh in on former President Donald Trump being banned from social media platforms specifically, she did reiterate Biden’s support for more blocking “disinformation and misinformation.”
Questioning the results and integrity of the election, dismissing the COVID-19 virus and misinformation about vaccines were examples Psaki said should come under a more restrictive microscope.
“The president’s view is that the major platforms have a responsibility related to the health and safety of all Americans, to stop amplifying untrustworthy content, disinformation, and misinformation, especially related to COVID-19, vaccinations, and elections,” Psaki said.
She also mentioned Biden’s support for better privacy protections and a “robust” antitrust program.
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Psaki said of Biden, “His view is that there is more that needs to be done to ensure that this type of misinformation, disinformation, damaging, sometimes life-threatening information is not going out to the American public.”
Trump remains banned from posting on Facebook for now.
After the ruling, @PressSec noted that Biden thinks major social-media platforms have a duty “to stop amplifying untrustworthy content, disinformation and misinformation” https://t.co/u7HPR7THdt pic.twitter.com/AjFBcg794e
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) May 5, 2021
Psaki: Biden Administration ‘Believer In First Amendment Rights’
Psaki was challenged by a follow up question, asking whether or not the White House had concerns about First Amendment rights, and where the Biden admin drew the line on censorship.
“Well look, I think we are, of course, a believer in First Amendment rights,” Psaki said.
She added, “I think what the decisions are that the social media platforms need to make is how they address the disinformation, misinformation, especially related to life-threatening issues, like COVID-19 and vaccinations that continue to proliferate on their platforms.”
Republicans took a very different view of Facebook’s decision to uphold the ban on former President Trump.
CNBC reports that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy vowed to “rein in big tech power over our speech.”
Facebook is more interested in acting like a Democrat Super PAC than a platform for free speech and open debate.
If they can ban President Trump, all conservative voices could be next.
A House Republican majority will rein in big tech power over our speech.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 5, 2021
Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows spoke of antitrust: “It is time that we break up big tech, not just regulate them.”
Congressman Ken Buck of Colorado echoed Meadows, calling for Facebook to be broken up under antitrust laws.
Facebook’s status as a monopoly has led its leaders to believe it can silence and censor Americans’ speech with no repercussions.
Now more than ever we need aggressive antitrust reform to break up Facebook’s monopoly. pic.twitter.com/WFPEe8aXsS
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) May 5, 2021
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