GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn (TN) is demanding the Biden administration answer five questions about the administration’s apparent attempt to coordinate with Big Tech platforms like Facebook to censor Americans.
Blackburn wants to know the administration’s criteria for allegedly directing Big Tech to flag or remove posts or ban users. The Republican also questioned the infamous list of 12 social media users allegedly pushing vaccine “misinformation,” which White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki brushed off by noting that these accounts are “public.” Blackburn also pressed about the administration’s “legal basis” for such apparent action and if there are any “dedicated” staffers for this process.
“New: [Marsha Blackburn] demands Biden White House answer these five questions about their ‘coordination with Big Tech to censor Americans,'” reported Philip Wegmann. Here are the five questions:
- What criteria are you directing social media platforms to use to flag and remove posts?
- What criteria are you directing social media platforms to use to ban users?
- In your July 15th press briefing, you stated that 12 people are responsible for “65 percent of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms.” Who are those account[s] and have they, or others, been removed at your direction?
- What is the legal basis for your Administration’s decision to direct social media platforms to flag and remove posts from their sites?
- Does the White House have staff dedicated to searching social media for content to flag for removal?
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) July 19, 2021
The Biden administration made waves last week when Psaki told reporters the administration was in communication with Facebook about apparent accounts that spread vaccine “misinformation,” seemingly advocating their censorship. She also stated that if an account is banned on one social media platform for misinformation, the same individual should be banned from all other social media platforms.
On heels of the alarming comments, President Biden claimed social media was “killing people” because more censorship is not being done to stop supposed “misinformation.”
“They’re killing people,” POTUS said of Facebook, last week. “The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people.”
When Psaki was pressed by a reporter on Friday about the seeming attempt to coordinate with Big Tech to censor Americans, she said Facebook and other platforms are the ones making “decisions about what information should be on their platform.”
“We don’t take anything down. We don’t block anything,” Psaki claimed, as highlighted by The Daily Wire. “Facebook, and any private sector company makes decisions about what information should be on their platform. Our point is that there is information that is leading to people not taking the vaccine, and people are dying as a result, and we have a responsibility as a public health matter to raise that issue. The responsibility we all have — the government, media platforms, public messengers — to give accurate information.”
Facebook told NBC that the Biden administration is scapegoating the platform “for missing their vaccine goals.”
“In private exchanges, the Surgeon General has praised our work, including our efforts to inform people about COVID-19. They knew what they were doing. The White House is looking for scapegoats for missing their vaccine goals.”
This article has been revised for clarity.