Big Tech and Big Government

Biden White House: We Tell Big Tech Which Posts to Censor

25 July 2021


The Daily Declaration has previously provided hundreds of examples of Facebook, Twitter and other platforms censoring the views of Christians and conservatives. We have also long hinted at collusion between Democrat centres of power and Big Tech.

But last week, the Biden White House came right out and admitted that they tell the Silicon Valley giants which posts to censor. “We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, while listing other measures the federal government is working on to address ‘misinformation’.

On the heels of this remarkable admission, one reporter asked for further explanation. In her response, Psaki expressed the White House’s hope that if you’re censored on one platform, you will be censored on others too. “You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others,” she said, “for providing misinformation out there.”

Psaki was specifically addressing the coronavirus pandemic, which presents an ethical conundrum as governments race to have as many of their citizens as possible vaccinated in the midst of various doubts about the vaccines’ safety and efficacy.

The problem, of course, is that if the U.S. government can censor content that it deems counterproductive in regards to this issue, there is no limiting principle to where such power will end. In a clause famously known as the First Amendment, the U.S. Bill of Rights specifically forbids the federal government from prohibiting speech:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Not only this, but Big Tech platforms have been given legal immunity for what their users post under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. In other words, because they are platforms and not publishers, Facebook, Twitter and other such websites cannot be sued if everyday people post content deemed by other parties to be ‘wrong’ or otherwise ‘misinformed’.

But as many Republican lawmakers have argued, this cuts both ways: if Big Tech is censoring such content — especially with an obvious political bias — then they are acting as publishers, and have thereby forfeited their legal immunity and the vast financial protections that come with it. As such, Big Tech currently has its cake and is eating it too.

All of these issues were in view as Psaki made her candid admissions. But with a press now so subservient to the White House, most reporters felt it unnecessary to query her diktats. One of the few to push back was Peter Doocy of Fox News.

“For how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?” Psaki appeared to backtrack her earlier comments, saying,

We don’t take anything down. We don’t block anything. Facebook, and any private sector company makes decisions about what information should be on their platform.

Technically she might be telling the truth. But when Big Tech platforms have previously shown so much acquiescence to Democrat politicians — and when it is the world’s most powerful government applying pressure — the outcome is obvious. Indeed, it is a matter of public record that Twitter and Facebook have taken down posts when directed to by American lawmakers.

“The big concern… I think for a lot of people on Facebook, is that now this is Big Brother watching you,” Doocy responded. He pointed out the White House’s inconsistency in censoring its political opponents while letting its own officials go unchecked.

Referring to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s previous advice for Americans to not bother wearing masks, Doocy asked, “Is the administration going to contact Facebook and ask them to take that down?” The other example he provided was the now-probable notion that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology:

Facebook used to… block people from posting that Covid may have originated from a lab, that is something that this president now admits is a possibility. So is there any concern that things you’re trying to block or have taken down might someday turn out to be accurate?

He has a point.

All Psaki could do was repeat her defence that Big Tech makes its own decisions — while also threatening that “people are dying” if these platforms don’t censor what the White House hopes they will censor. The press secretary can sugarcoat it all she likes, but this much is true: Big Tech is increasingly acting as an arm of the Biden administration.

[Image: Sid10/BigStock]

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