The Biden administration has launched an aggressive online effort to convince social media forums like Facebook to fact-check and remove posts that the government or the Democratic Party believes constitute fake news, according to Politico.
The multipronged effort includes at least three separate teams of paid left-wing activists, who scour the internet looking for “misinformation” (which they classify as unintentional falsehoods) and “disinformation” (which they consider deliberate lies). They then insist that the offending posts be reviewed or taken down.
In other words, if you have encountered a “fact check” on a story that did not seem controversial, it may have been instigated by the Biden administration — and paid for with your tax dollars.
Politico revealed that the White House’s (taxpayer-funded) Office of Digital Strategy, the Democratic National Committee’s Counter Disinformation Program, and a private group called Building Back Together “have assumed different roles in monitoring and determining what content is consumed on social media.” Politico did not explain when it became the Biden administration’s place to “determin[e] what content” social media users may consume. But it delineated some of the ways these three organizations have squeezed online platforms — and detailed some of their misguided definitions of “misinformation.”
The White House employs at least two dozen people to “monitor and, if needed, combat disinformation, including encouraging different sites to fact-check false content,” reported Natasha Korecki for Politico. The Office of Digital Strategy is led by “12 Democratic operatives” handpicked by Biden, according to The Hill.
The White House operation spends its days not just fending “off falsehoods,” but “ensuring a steady stream of factual and positive information flows onto social media platforms,” according to Politico. The director of the White House unit, Rob Flaherty, said his people concentrate on “sharing our messages into places where there is a lot of disinformation,” such as “the channels that those folks who are in those audiences trust” — presumably, the social media accounts of conservative-leaning websites and news outlets.
At the same time, Biden-linked groups try to get social media websites to pare back any claim it deems erroneous. “Building Back Together, an advocacy group closely aligned with Biden, has assumed the role of battling social media outfits, including Facebook, on behalf of the White House,” Politico noted. BBT has badgered Facebook to police online posts that contain information the Biden administration considers false.
Earlier this month the leader of BBT’s voting rights efforts, Robert Bauer, publicly pressured Facebook to crack down on any allegation that the 2020 presidential election may have had any defects in execution. He instructed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to launch “a comprehensive review of Facebook’s potential contribution to the narrative of electoral fraud and the exacerbated tensions that culminated in the violence in the United States on January 6.”
“Unless Facebook engages in the transparent evaluation and review” that Bauer and BBT demand, “it will have discredited” its own review board, wrote Bauer in a letter dated June 2.
The DNC expects the fight to regulate, bury, or delete online content to be so important that it mainstreamed its disinformation program directly into its communications department ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The reason why becomes clearer when you understand the DNC’s definition of “conspiracy theory.”
Korecki reported that one of the “conspiracy theories” Democrats condemn is that Dr. Anthony Fauci has been less than forthcoming about COVID-19’s origins and mitigation efforts. “Conservatives on social media for more than a year had undertaken efforts to discredit Fauci,” Korecki wrote. “Increasingly, those efforts had relied on exaggerations, misrepresentations and outright conspiracies,” which have “moved from the fringes to a presidential forum.” She did not mention Fauci’s undeniable record of self-contradictions and public fibs.
The DNC cited the fact that a reporter had the temerity to ask President Biden whether he still had confidence in Fauci as the triumph of disinformation. “That a mainstream reporter” is “raising that question is [the result of] a successful smear campaign,” said Timothy Durigan, the lead analyst of the DNC’s Counter Disinformation Program.
Other stories that Durigan considered conspiracy theories include Critical Race Theory, the idea that allowing biological males to compete against biological females will “destroy women’s sports,” and allegedly spliced video “making the president seem like he’s struggling to speak.”
The strategy for the federal government to directly counter “conspiracy theories” stretches back at least to Obama administration Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein, who co-authored a controversial 2008 paper with Adrian Vermeule. They advised the federal government to “cognitively infiltrate” groups teaching conspiracy theories — including “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” They also suggested paying independent-appearing journalists to tell the government’s story — something prohibited by federal law.
“The reason conspiracy theories resonate so much is precisely that people have learned — rationally — to distrust government actions and statements,” wrote journalist Glenn Greenwald in 2014. “Sunstein’s proposed covert propaganda scheme is a perfect illustration of why that is.”
How much worse is a group of paid White House employees who spend their time scrolling through social media pages and pressuring online platforms to do their censorious bidding for them?
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.