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Psaki: White House ‘Flagging’ COVID ‘Disinformation’ for Social Media Censors

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., July 12, 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

During a press briefing Thursday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the White House was collaborating with social media companies to censor COVID “disinformation.”

In response to a reporter’s question, she said the federal government has ramped up its disinformation research and tracking.

“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” she said.

She discussed four key steps the federal government is taking to hold Facebook and other tech titans accountable for identifying and restricting content deemed factually incorrect surrounding the COVID vaccine.

“Facebook should provide publicly and transparently data on the reach of the COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, not just engagement but the reach of the misinformation and the audience that it’s reaching,” Psaki commented. ” This should be provided not just to researchers but to the public.”

She also said the White House had proposed a “robust enforcement strategy” that bridges the properties of the tech titans like Facebook, which also owns the popular apps Instagram and Snapchat, and  “provides transparency about the rules.”

“There’s about 12 people that are producing 65 percent of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms. All of them remain active on Facebook despite some of them even being banned on other platforms including ones that Facebook owns,” Psaki added.

She urged Facebook to move more expeditiously to find and remove misleading content before it is consumed by a large number of users.

“It’s important to take faster action against harmful posts. As you all know, information travels quite quickly on social media platforms sometimes that’s not accurate,” the press secretary emphasized.

Facebook has an obligation to use its power to “promote quality information sources in their feed algorithm,” Psaki suggested, noting that “Facebook has repeatedly shown they have the leverage” to do so.

Psaki’s comments could exacerbate the concerns of lawmakers, particularly Republicans, who believe the federal government and Big Tech are conspiring and colluding to suppress speech and exercise greater control over the American public.

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