As the Biden administration called “medical misinformation” a public health threat, the White House said it was working with social media to flag “problematic” posts. Critics called it an end-run around the First Amendment.
“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday. In addition to directing the company to censor people, the government is also working to “get trusted content out there” by putting medical professionals in touch with social media influencers.
????????: Jen Psaki says the Biden administration is actively flagging what they deem "disinformation" about the pandemic to Facebook for censoring.— John Cooper (@thejcoop) July 15, 2021
What could go wrong?? pic.twitter.com/THz85cqi3R
Psaki’s admission came after Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory declaring misinformation “an imminent and insidious threat to our nation’s health.”
“Misinformation takes away our freedom to make informed decisions about our health and the health of our loved ones,” Murthy said at the White House. During just the Covid-19 pandemic, it has led to Americans refusing to wear masks, “turn down proven treatments” and choosing not to get vaccinated, which, he said, cost lives.
When Surgeon General says "misinformation," he means departure from the regime-approved narrative. Dissent mustn't be tolerated, & he wants Big Tech to crack down on what amounts to open inquiry & free exchange of ideas. In other words, he's a tyrant.https://t.co/G0ft9kiy5u— Jordan Schachtel @ dossier.substack.com (@JordanSchachtel) July 15, 2021
Murthy is a “tyrant” who wants “Big Tech to crack down on what amounts to open inquiry and free exchange of ideas,” commented journalist Jordan Schachtel, one of the notable skeptics when it comes to official pandemic narratives.
Looking at the surgeon general’s recommendations, Grabien’s Tom Elliott pointed out that the government is literally instructing private companies to “abridge the freedom of speech, and of the press, and the rights of people to peaceably assemble and petition the gov’t for redresses of grievances” – in other words, violate the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Feds to Big Tech: We’re going to need you to abridge the freedom of speech, and of the press, and the rights of people to peaceably assemble and petition the gov’t for redresses of grievances https://t.co/zG9kclNYJT— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 15, 2021
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who helped publish NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about surveillance abuse in 2013, called this union of corporate and state power “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,” said Greenwald.
The Biden administration is telling Facebook which posts it regards as "problematic" so that Facebook can remove them.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 15, 2021
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