White House urges social media to ban COVID ‘misinformation super-spreaders’

One day after disclosing that the Biden administration has been “flagging problematic posts” for Facebook to remove, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that anyone banned on one social media platform should be banned on all of them.

Platforms such as Facebook, she said at the daily briefing, should “measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform” and “create robust enforcement strategies.”

“You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others for providing misinformation,” she said.

See Psaki’s remarks:

On Thursday, Psaki disclosed that the Biden administration is flagging Facebook posts that the administration deems to be “misinformation” about the COVID-19 pandemic.

She defended that policy on Friday when Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy challenged her, pointing out Facebook at one time censored the COVID lab-leak theory as misinformation.

Doocy began by asking how long the Biden administration has “been spying on peoples’ Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation.”

“Well, that was quite a loaded and inaccurate question, which I would refute,” Psaki replied.

She argued the administration is “in regular touch with a range of media outlets … as we are in regular touch with social media platforms.”

Along with artificial intelligence tools, Facebook deploys panels of fact-checkers who remove information that doesn’t comport with the views of selected “experts.”

In February, Facebook announced a plan to mobilize a panel of scholars to “debunk myths about climate change.”

At the time, CNBC described Facebook’s move as “further leaning in to the ‘arbiter of truth’ role that the company once renounced.”

It was a futher move away from the statement of CEO Mark Zuckerberg in May 2020 that Facebook and other internet platforms “in general should be arbiters of truth.”

But now Zuckerberg contends that the best way to stop the spread of misinformation on its platform is not only to remove “misleading” posts, but to offer people “accurate information from authoritative sources.”


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