White House Admits to Flagging Posts For Facebook

We have previously discussed the extensive censorship programs maintained by Big Tech, including companies like Twitter and Facebook taking sides in major controversies from gender identification to election fraud to Covid-19. The rise of corporate censors has combined with a heavily pro-Biden media to create the fear of a de facto state media that controls information due to a shared ideology rather than state coercion.  That concern has been magnified by demands from Democratic leaders for increased censorship, including censoring political speech, and now word that the Biden Administration has routinely been flagging material to be censored by Facebook.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted that the Biden administration is working with Facebook to flag “problematic” posts that “spread disinformation” on COVID-19. She explained that the Administration has created “aggressive” policing systems to spot “misinformation” to be “flagged” for the social media companies.

Obviously, anyone can object to postings. There is a greater danger when the government has a systemic process for aggressively flagging material to be censored. The real problem however is with the censorship system itself. We have seen how there needs to be little coordination between political figures and the media to maintain controlled narratives in public debates and discussions.

The concern is obvious that this allows for a direct role of the government in a massive censorship program run by private companies. There have been repeated examples of the censoring of stories that were embarrassing or problematic for the Biden Administration.  Even when Twitter expressed regret for the censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop story before the election, there was an immediate push back for greater censorship from Democrats.

The concern is that these companies are taking to heart calls from Democratic members for increased censorship on the platform. CEO Jack Dorsey previously apologized for censoring the Hunter Biden story before the election. However, rather than addressing the dangers of such censoring of news accounts, Senator Chris Coons pressed Dorsey to expand the categories of censored material to prevent people from sharing any views that he considers “climate denialism.” Likewise, Senator Richard Blumenthal seemed to take the opposite meaning from Twitter, admitting that it was wrong to censor the Biden story. Blumenthal said that he was “concerned that both of your companies are, in fact, backsliding or retrenching, that you are failing to take action against dangerous disinformation.” Accordingly, he demanded an answer to this question:

“Will you commit to the same kind of robust content modification playbook in this coming election, including fact checking, labeling, reducing the spread of misinformation, and other steps, even for politicians in the runoff elections ahead?”

“Robust content modification” seems the new Orwellian rallying cry in our society.

The same problems have arisen on Covid stories. For a year, Big Tech has been censoring those who wanted to discuss the origins of pandemic.  It was not until Biden admitted that the virus may have originated in the Wuhan lab that social media suddenly changed its position. Facebook only recently announced that people on its platform will be able to discuss the origins of Covid-19 after censoring any such discussion.

The back channel coordination with Facebook further supports the view that this is a de facto state-supporting censorship program. That is the basis for the recent lawsuit by former President Donald Trump. As I have previously noted, there is ample basis for objection to this arrangement but the legal avenue for challenges is far from clear. The lawsuit will face difficult, if not insurmountable, problems under existing law and precedent. There is no question companies like Twitter are engaging in raw censorship. It is also true that these companies have censored material with a blatantly biased agenda, taking sides on scientific and social controversies. A strong case can be made for stripping these companies of legal protections since they are no longer neutral platforms. However, private businesses are allowed to regulate speech as a general matter.  It will take considerable heavy lifting for a court to order this injunctive relief.

That is why we need legislative action. That includes removal immunity protections. However, the government should also consider how to incentivize the creation of alternatives to these companies which are now a threat to our political system. A few companies now control a huge amount of the political discourse in this country and have shown a clear bias in taking sides (even on issues later found to be wrong). Since litigation is likely to fail, legislation would seem an imperative. Congress has been spending hundreds of billions with utter abandon. Yet, there is little discussion over a government subsidized platform for social media or other measures to break up this unprecedented level of corporate control over our political discourse. I am no fan of government programs, particularly as it relates to media. However, Apple, Google, and these other companies are now operating like monopolies, including crushing competitors like Parlor. That is a direct and growing threat to our political process.

We need to consider a short-term investment in a social media platform that will focus any censorship on direct threats or criminal conduct. There is currently a lack of not only competition but any real opportunity for competition to challenge these companies. Either we have to redefine what we treat as monopolies or we need to invest in the establishment of competing platforms that are content neutral like telephone companies.

This is why I have described myself as an Internet Originalist:

The alternative is “internet originalism” — no censorship. If social media companies returned to their original roles, there would be no slippery slope of political bias or opportunism; they would assume the same status as telephone companies. We do not need companies to protect us from harmful or “misleading” thoughts. The solution to bad speech is more speech, not approved speech.

If Pelosi demanded that Verizon or Sprint interrupt calls to stop people saying false or misleading things, the public would be outraged. Twitter serves the same communicative function between consenting parties; it simply allows thousands of people to participate in such digital exchanges. Those people do not sign up to exchange thoughts only to have Dorsey or some other internet overlord monitor their conversations and “protect” them from errant or harmful thoughts.

The actions by Twitter and Facebook on Election Day were reprehensible and wrong. That should have been sufficient cause for action by Congress. It is now growing more precarious and chilling by the day.

 

 

 

120 thoughts on “White House Admits to Flagging Posts For Facebook”

  1. Voters of both parties might support “early childhood education” in debating itself (debate clubs, etc. on arguing the message instead of attacking the messenger) and American Civics (how American government works).

    Another vitally important education part is “written-debate” – how to outline a topic for debate and explain one’s point of view. Just because someone has a different vantage point doesn’t make the opposing speaker the devil or enemy.

    I recently read that Barry Goldwater (conservative ion) was a lifetime member of the NAACP and demanded equal treatment for his staff members but was labeled racist because (on purely libertarian grounds) he opposed some civil rights legislation. Goldwater ultimately regretted his libertarian-driven votes but was largely viewed as a racist for several decades. Teaching children (now adults) how to debate issues (not speakers) and how the American system works could prevent much of this division.

    If political parties only DIVIDE Americans, why have political parties at all? This is a serious crisis destroying the nation.

    1. Barry Goldwater voted for the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Legislation. He wanted portions of the 1964 bill altered as he could find no Constitutional basis for government regulation in those areas. Goldwater acted in sincerity as a statesman believing he was protecting the Constitution. That is what all of our leaders should be doing, but as we see that is not happening. The price our leaders pay for not taking the easy route has led this nation into disaster.

      If we look around today whether we like Goldwater’s vote or not we can see what he feared came true.

  2. Jt manages to unnecessarily bring in Hunter Biden again as part of his argument. He did it on Saturday as well.

  3. Psaki also admitted that government agents working under the direction of senior officials in the Biden administration are routinely monitoring the communications of — or stated more clearly, spying on — American citizens for evidence of content that it disagrees with. We can be certain that the spying isn’t limited to COVID information and the government action goes beyond reporting the unwashed to Facebook. Anyone want to take odds that the government security apparatus is monitoring our posts here? Hey FBI guys, if you happen to notice this, please give us a denial like you did with Tucker Carlson.

  4. Republicans are all about private property and the FB platform is private property. They can exclude or suspend anyone. As to eliminating lies about Covid or Covid vaccines it’s a good idea. I realize that the liars or should I same the Republicans DONT want that to happens but it will save lives.

    As to censorship, I think Trump saying that those who disagree with him or tell the truth about him should be executed is a lot more disconcerting but I guess that’s AOK with you, Professor.

    1. Family of Mr. Clyde Tolson, homosexual lover and sole heir to J. Edgar Hoover’s estate, wish to send you a vintage pair of G-Man bootlicking highly polished leather boots for your obsequiousness. What size should they send?

      Reporters Once Challenged the Spy State. Now, They’re Agents of It
      https://taibbi.substack.com/p/reporters-once-challenged-the-spy

      Just last week it was announced the FBI had been caught, again, in abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Also censured by the FISA court in 2011, 2016, and 2018, the Bureau was busted for “widespread” use of an NSA-managed surveillance tool meant for foreign cases only, using FISA to investigate “health care fraud, transnational organized crime, violent gangs, domestic terrorism, public corruption, and bribery.” The declassified report also worried the NSA might be passing to the FBI intercepts of attorney-client conversations, not that anyone in the press cares about that principle anymore, either. Except for one Fox story about Jim Jordan complaining, editorialists mostly took a pass on the FISC news.

      Rather than take on those issues, the press is taking the easy way out, pinning deputy badges to their chests and diving into the lives of ordinary people in search of secret sins. That’s not journalism, it’s a Crowdsourced Inquisition, and by the time reporters realize what they’ve signed themselves up for, it will be too late. People like Brennan and Clapper must laugh themselves hoarse, to think they ever had anything to fear from this press corps.

    2. Justice Holmes, I am including a link discussing President Trump saying that people should be executed. Please take note that the operative phrase in the story is “reported to have said”. Just like it was “reported” that he had prostitutes pee on a bed that Obama had slept in. Just like it was “reported” that he said white supremacist are good people. To Justice Holmes “reported to have said” is to be taken as Gospel truth. I guess when your seeking the truth you want to find “reported to have said” is good enough. Then again, maybe an intelligent assessment of what one reads might be in order. Notice how they never tell you who it was that was “reported to have said”. Throw a little click bate down for Mr. Holmes and he will plunk his money down quicker than a scared rabbit to read the story. Surely Justice Holmes could be a little more like Sherlock Holmes in the investigation of the truth. Elementary Mr. Holmes. Elementary. https://news.yahoo.com/executed-trump-boiled-over-news-164912918.html

      1. I’ve seen the video where your hero said there were good people on both sides of the Charlottesville incident in which Heather Heyer was run down and killed by a car being driven by a White Supremacist. Then, after being told he messed up, Kellyanne came up with some “alternative fact” attempted walk-back that was too little, too late. He said it. It’ on video, and it’s the truth.

        1. So you believe that ALL people on one side of the demonstration are bad?

          If not, Trump was right.

  5. For those following the vaccine discussions this might be interesting:

    https://www.verywellhealth.com/novavax-vaccine-side-effects-5192068

    If true this appears to be a promising new vaccine made more nearly like traditional vaccines and without mRNA.

    It has fewer side effects, maybe more like from a flu shot, and being from a mature technology may not have the worrisome potential risks [short and long term] that cloud decisions on taking the mRNA vaccines.

    I hope it pans out and makes it more comfortable and, possibly, safer for holdouts to get vaccinated.

  6. Cindy, Young, Et Al;

    If you’ve the time, this Robert Barnes & Frei, ?, interviewing Alex Jones.

    It’s 2 hours, about, I’ve found it very enlightening. I suggest watching it before it’s also banned Biden’s/Pelosi’s Gestapos & other Goons in their fake boobs & Red High Heels Prancing around beating down loyal American Citizens again.

    https://www.infowars.com/posts/watch-alex-jones-joins-top-lawyer-podcast-to-talk-censorship-covid-transhumanism-more/

  7. ‘Have you heard? When the federal government “flags” a supposedly dangerous social media post and accuses the platform of committing murder if they don’t remove it, that’s just the free market in action’ @mtracey

  8. Careful most esteemed professor Jonathan Turkey your in danger. The methods being used to achieve “Liberal” political goals is frightening. I sincerely believe you provide a great service to our Nation, the First Nation. Our Constitution marks the distinction of a Nation and all other forms of Rule. The governance by the consent of the people is no longer applicable. The book Winds of War(?) sense of foreboding doom now permeates the political atmosphere

    1. Young, Thanks but your link is also getting blocked.

      What could it be? RedRum aholes Fauci & Gates , etc. don’t want the public to see the data of the cemetery plots sold by them in the last two weeks?

  9. Ah, yes……the White House: The most exclusive Assisted Living Facility in the country.

    1. LOL;)

      Plus Drug Rehab & American Hating Commie Spy Agency of Child Molesting Diddlers.

      Who could have imagined the fraud of the Deep State could ever became this Evil.

    2. On topic, my it was WP that blocked my last 2 post on latest number of the recently m’rna bug juiced croaked. They admit about 12,000 total.

      My numbers could more strongly suggest 1/2 mil..

      We’ll all C how the blocking goes.

      1. 3 more fails.

        When they ask for volunteers from the lines, many are just taking two steps back & research for themselves.

        I guess someone/body wants people to rebuild the links tag?

        Maybe rebuild link by have 1 beer on the wall

        vaxxine

        The 2 beers on the wall

        impact

        3 beers on the wall

        (dot)

        4 beers on the wall

        Commie something like that.

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