The revelations made by White House press secretary Jen Psaki made headlines after she revealed that the White House and Facebook are working together to “flag” problematic posts that spread “misinformation”, particularly about COVID-19.
White house press secretary: The WH is “regularly” in touch with social media companies
On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the White House’s request for big tech to be more “aggressive” in tracking down “misinformation”.
The answer made by Psaki revealed how the White House and Facebook are “regularly in touch” with each other. The press secretary also explained how the Biden administration regularly communicated with these social media companies.
Psaki added that the “engagement,” in most cases, happens between senior staff members from the White House who are also involved in the COVID-19 team. She continued, stating that the “misinformation” surrounding COVID-19 is a “big issue.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 15, 2021
When discussing about how the administration is “regularly” in touch with the senior staff of the White House, Psaki made another shocking revelation.
The White House press secretary added that as a part of their effort to track down misinformation, they also “flag” posts on Facebook. She also added that the Biden administration is working with doctors and medical experts to connect with people who have high social media presences to boost publication of accurate and trusted content.
Psaki then claimed that the Biden administration is assisting in getting “trusted content” out there. She also mentioned how the administration created COVID Community Corporation in making sure that factual information is in the hands of the local messengers.
Critics raised concerns that the Biden administration could be breaching Americans’ First Amendment rights
Meanwhile, the statement made by Psaki sparked criticism online. Some raised concerns on how the Biden administration could be infringing upon the First Amendment rights of Americans.
Gleen Greenwald, an independent journalist mentioned in a long Twitter thread how “deeply disturbing” it is for the White House to be “flagging content” on the internet which they deem as “problematic”. He added that this is, by definition, an authoritarian move.
Meanwhile, Biden was also lambasted for the comments he made on Friday, accusing Facebook of “killing people”.
Reporter: "What's your message to platforms like Facebook?"
President Biden: "They're killing people." pic.twitter.com/jrAvQpG7i0
— The Hill (@thehill) July 16, 2021
Biden was asked what he wanted to say to these social media companies, particularly with regard to COVID-19. The president answered stating that the big techs are “killing people”.
The statement made by Biden was slammed by social media users who raised their opposition and concerns.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson posted a tweet stating that social media platforms like Facebook should be an “open forum for solutions” and not a “Big Brother” tool.
The senator also added that although Biden is right about the role that these platforms play, he is pointing his finger at the wrong problem.