White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted Thursday that the Biden administration is “flagging problematic posts for Facebook.”
Psaki outlined how the administration was working with social media companies to stop the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic during a news conference.
“This is a big issue of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic,” Psaki said.
“We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the surgeon general’s office, we’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.
“We are working with doctors and medical professionals to connected medical experts who are popular with their audiences with accurate information and boost trusted content.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 15, 2021
During the briefing, a journalist asked if the press secretary was concerned about the “politicization” of the information surrounding aspects of COVID-19, like vaccines.
“We have to be very careful, and we are mindful of being quite careful of not politicizing the effectiveness of vaccines,” Psaki said.
“We have empowered, engaged, funded local voices because they are often the most trusted voices.”
Psaki’s comments bring to the forefront Republican concerns that social media platforms are suppressing conservative voices and opinions online.
Facebook and other platforms have frequently hidden behind Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act to remove posts they deem offensive.
Facebook’s community standards allow the platform to take down “misinformation and unverifiable rumors that contribute to the risk of imminent violence or physical harm,” Bloomberg reported.
“False news is harmful to our community, it makes the world less informed, and it erodes trust,” Facebook wrote in a misinformation blog post.
In particular, it has flagged what it deems to be misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This includes claims such as: COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured, Vaccines are not effective at preventing the disease they are meant to protect against, It’s safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine, Vaccines are toxic, dangerous or cause autism,” Facebook wrote in a news release.
Emails between Facebook and the Biden campaign revealed tension over misinformation during the lead-up to the 2020 election, CNN reported.
Some Democrats are concerned that misinformation on the platform may hurt their chances in the midterm elections.
“Some of the more systemic concerns that we have really have not been addressed at all,” a top former Biden campaign aide said.
“If the primary news source in America is one that is spewing people basically nonsense based on simply whether that nonsense is more likely to be read or go viral, that has profound effects on the entire political system.”
Now it seems the Biden administration is policing misinformation on the social media platform.
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