White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday the Joe Biden administration is identifying “problematic” posts for Facebook to censor because they contain “misinformation” about COVID-19.
Psaki disclosed the government’s role in policing social media during her daily press briefing after Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called on companies to purge more pandemic posts.
The demand for censorship — and Psaki’s admission of government involvement — follows a series of flip-flops from health officials who contradicted themselves throughout the pandemic on issues such as mask efficacy, as well as censorship of claims that later gained credibility, such as the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese lab.
“We are in regular touch with the social media platforms and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff and also members of our COVID-19 team — given as Dr. Murthy conveyed, this is a big issue, of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic,” Psaki said.
She added: “We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s Office. We are flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”
Psaki added, “it’s important to take faster action against harmful posts … and Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove harmful violative posts.”
Psaki and Murthy, who also spoke at the press briefing, specifically said they are concerned about “misinformation” about COVID-19 vaccines. About 68 percent of US adults have had at least one vaccine shot, according to CDC data, dramatically lowering infection rates in most parts of the country.