Press Secretary Jen Psaki revealed that the White House is working with Facebook to flag ‘disinformation’ regarding vaccines and COVID-19 Thursday, prompting a torrent of criticism.
Psaki’s startling admission, a coordinated effort by the government to control information in tandem with a major private social media company, borders on something you might hear out of a country that utilizes state-run media.
“We are in regular touch with the social media platforms and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff and also members of our COVID-19 team,” Psaki told reporters.
“We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s Office,” she added. “We are flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”
The White House press secretary went on to publicly pressure Facebook saying they “need to move more quickly to remove harmful violative posts.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 15, 2021
White House Working With Facebook To Censor ‘Disinformation’
Aside from the obvious parallels to how Communist dictators use media to control information, one of the most glaring problems that arise is in the potential for error in censoring ‘misinformation’ and doing so ‘quickly.’
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Bloomberg News recently reported on the problem that Facebook themselves had in “prematurely debunking” the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan.
Facebook tried to suppress any discussion of the lab leak theory for months, only to have to backtrack when the theory started picking up steam and credibility shortly thereafter.
“In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made from our apps,” a spokesman for the company said.
The World Health Organization just this week admitted they had ruled out the lab leak theory far too soon.
Americans deserve to know to what extent the federal government works with social media companies. Is there any quid pro quo? The First Amendment exists to keep the government from controlling what Americans hear. Free societies counter misinformation with information, not bans.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) July 15, 2021
That alone is evidence that social media and mainstream media should not be working in lockstep with the government to suppress information, and they most assuredly shouldn’t be doing so ‘quickly’ in a rush to control the narrative.
It would seem the White House is more interested in getting in front of what they want the American people to know and damn the consequences if the truth comes out down the line.
The Biden administration is telling Facebook which posts it regards as “problematic” so that Facebook can remove them.
This is the union of corporate and state power — one of the classic hallmarks of fascism — that the people who spent 5 years babbling about fascism support. https://t.co/U2Ee3DgXJe
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 15, 2021
Merger Of Government And Corporate Power
Psaki’s admission that the White House is working with Facebook to suppress information comes just two months after she suggested President Biden would support such an effort.
“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,” she said.
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
Not only are they flagging disinformation but, as the Daily Caller points out, the White House is “also asking Facebook to share data on the reach and engagement of posts deemed disinformation.”
Critics leveled the administration for their frightening confirmation that they are coordinating with Big Tech on what Americans can and cannot see regarding vaccines or the pandemic.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald described the “union of corporate and state power” as “one of the classic hallmarks of fascism.”
“If you don’t find it deeply disturbing that the White House is ‘flagging’ internet content that they deem ‘problematic’ to their Facebook allies for removal, then you are definitionally an authoritarian,” he added.
“No other information is needed about you to know that.”
There is no circumstance — none — in which it’s acceptable for the White House or any other agency of the government to be providing lists to Facebook of “problematic” content it wants removed, yet’s that exactly what Psaki says they’re doing:https://t.co/NTbP8fhBbi
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 15, 2021
Journalist Matt Taibbi had a more nuanced response to Psaki’s comments.
“This is so completely f***ed,” he tweeted. “Unbelievable.”
How do you think the left would be reacting if former President Trump, through Kayleigh McEnany, had admitted to censoring what they felt was ‘misinformation’ on Facebook?
Taibbi openly wondered how the left would react if it wasn’t coming from the Biden administration.
“Where’s the outrage? For the Biden fans out there, are you excited for a possible future Republican president to do this?” he asked.
So the government is the arbiter of what’s a lie or not? How’d that work out with WMDs? https://t.co/HbphhciOdu
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) July 15, 2021
Earlier this week, a shocking new report indicated that groups aligned with President Biden, including the DNC, are pushing text message carriers to help monitor ‘misinformation’ regarding vaccines.
“Biden allied groups, including the Democratic National Committee,” Politico reported, are “planning to engage fact-checkers more aggressively and work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages.”
“The DNC plans to ‘engage fact-checkers more aggressively’ and work alongside phone companies to combat misinformation about vaccines shared via social media and private SMS messages.”https://t.co/VdnlRNNhag
— Timothy Nerozzi 庭夢 (@TimothyNerozzi) July 12, 2021
The monitoring isn’t going to stop any time soon.
Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson recently made headlines with allegations that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying on him.
Carlson reportedly had his name “unmasked” in communications that purportedly sought an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this year.
Further, a report surfaced earlier this year indicating the Biden administration was considering a partnership with private firms to surveil Americans online for alleged “extremist chatter.”
How long do you think it will be before they start saying all of the above – vaccine ‘disinformation,’ media attempts to speak with Russian leaders, or ‘extremist chatter’ online – will lead to another January 6th?
And who exactly is wading through the sea of online information and determining what is and is not true?
Having spent all day reading liberals justify the Biden WH telling FB which posts to delete – in response to my critiques and @mtaibbi‘s – it essentially amounts to this:
They’re censoring to protect us and keep us safe because they love us. They read Orwell as a how-to manual.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 16, 2021
Ironically, had Trump implemented a similar effort to discredit ‘disinformation,’ Facebook may have had to censor Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris, who repeatedly refused to commit to getting a COVID-19 vaccine because they didn’t trust the man who delivered them.
“I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump, and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about,” Harris said in regards to vaccines last September.
“They’re recklessly endangering lives,” Trump said at the time. “You can’t do that.”
Facebook didn’t have a problem with that ‘disinformation’ but will actively work with those same people to censor the American people.
Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
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