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“On COVID misinformation, What is your message for platforms like Facebook ”, the a reporter asked President Joe Biden yesterday in the gardens of the White House. And his answer was: “They are killing people. Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated and they are killing people ”.
The presidential statement came as he was leaving for a weekend trip to Camp David. And it came right after her Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration is “in regular contact” with the Facebook platform to ensure the correct “narratives” are promoted, explaining his admission on Thursday that the White House is “identifying problematic posts” for censorship.
In his daily press conference, Psaki told reporters that the White House coordinates “regularly” with Facebook and other social media giants on the “latest narratives dangerous to public health” that the government believes should be censored.
“We regularly make sure that social media platforms are aware of the latest dangerous public health narratives that we and many other Americans are seeing across all social and traditional media,” Psaki said.
“There are about 12 people who are producing 65% of the misinformation against vaccines on social media platforms,” affirmed the presidential spokeswoman, without identifying those supposed individuals. He cited as an example of irresponsible falsehood, the claim that the COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility.
Psaki also said that la White House is encouraging social media companies to modify their algorithms to promote “quality information” and for platforms to act in unison to ban certain people. Someone “should not be expelled from one platform and not from others,” he said.
When asked if he meant that the White House was identifying “general areas of misinformation” to censor instead of “specific publications,” Psaki replied, “Yes. It is also known publicly who are the people who have disseminated most of the information ”.
White House spokespersons did not immediately respond to the request for the New York Post for clarification on whether the White House is actually identifying specific posts, as Psaki originally said Thursday.
In a statement yesterday, Facebook touted its efforts to inform users about COVID-19 and vaccines, saying that President Biden’s comments “are not supported by facts.”
“We will not be distracted by allegations that are not supported by facts,” said a Facebook spokesperson. “The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed reliable information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet ”.
“More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our Vaccine Search Tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine. The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives. Point”.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 16, 2021
Peter Doocy just destroyed the White House’s calls for censorship of “disinformation” on live TV.
Psaki did not see this one coming.
Watch the entire video. pic.twitter.com/ITPrMfdPFW
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 16, 2021
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.