On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted that the administration is identifying posts to Facebook that contain “misinformation” about coronavirus vaccines and is in “regular touch” with the Masters of the Universe. Psaki specifically admitted that the administration is flagging “problematic” posts to Facebook.
“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, adding “his is a big issue, of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic.”
“We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s Office. We are flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”
Psaki’s comments followed demands from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy for social media companies to clamp down on alleged misinformation about the pandemic and coronavirus vaccines.
“Health misinformation has led people to resist wearing masks in high-risk settings. It’s led them to turn down proven treatments and to choose not to get vaccinated. This has led to avoidable illnesses and deaths,” warned Murthy.
Facebook, along with other major tech companies, has cracked down on a wide swathe of constitutionally protected speech about the coronavirus and vaccines. In March of this year, it censored a Wall Street Journal op-ed from a Johns Hopkins surgeon who argued that the United States would likely achieve herd immunity against the virus by April.
The social network also bans so-called misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, despite the fact that Mark Zuckerberg himself has expressed concerns about the unknown long-term side effects of vaccines that can modify DNA and RNA. Zuckerberg’s comments came to light in a leaked video published by undercover journalists at Project Veritas in February.
In an implicit recognition that the facts around the coronavirus are not settled, Facebook earlier this year reversed its position on discussion of the theory that coronavirus is a man-made virus that potentially leaked from a lab.
The open admission that the White House coordinates censorship with Facebook will likely be welcomed by lawyers for Donald Trump, whose recently-announced lawsuit against the tech giants in part rests on claims that social media companies colluded with government bureaucrats and politicians to suppress his speech on their platforms.
Another lawsuit, brought by Harmeet Dhillon’s Liberty Center on behalf of pro-Trump activist Rogan O’Handley, also makes the public-private collusion argument, presenting evidence that Twitter colluded with the government of California to suppress political speech.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.