President Biden accused Facebook of “killing people” by allowing in what he claims are the spread of misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccines to be shared on social media platforms.
“On COVID misinformation, what’s your message to platforms like Facebook,” a reporter asked Biden as he left the White House Friday afternoon for a weekend trip to Camp David.
“They’re killing people,” Biden responded. “Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and that they’re killing people.”
Biden’s comment comes just after White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday that the Biden administration has been “in regular touch” with the social media site urging them to increase censorship of what they deem is “misinformation” regarding the COVID vaccine. Psaki admitted that the Biden administration has been “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” noting the administration had found 12 active users who are “producing 65 percent of anti-vaccine misinformation.”
“So we’re regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives, dangerous to public health that we and many other Americans are seeing across all of social and traditional media,” Psaki emphasized during Friday’s daily briefing. “And we work to engage with them to better understand the enforcement of social media platform policies.”
Psaki also suggested that social media users who are banned from one platform site due to spreading misinformation should be banned on all other platforms.
“You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others,” Psaki said.
In a statement responding to Biden’s comments, Facebook said the president’s claims weren’t “supported by the facts,” touting the site tool helped users “find out where” to get the COVID vaccine.
“We will not be distracted by accusations which aren’t supported by the facts,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative 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 finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine. The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives. Period.”
The First Amendment prevents government actors from “abridging the freedom of speech.”
Following Psaki’s admission, Republicans sounded the alarm regarding the close relationship the federal government has with the big monopoly corporation to curb free speech. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wrote in a letter to Facebook Thursday following the White House daily briefing asking the social media company to detail any social-media posts it deleted at the Biden administration’s request.
Social media networks are notorious for censoring posts from conservative media despite downplaying claims. Both Facebook and Twitter censored The New York Post’s reporting last October on reports detailing documents of shady business dealings Hunter Biden conducted with China and Ukraine while his father was Vice President that was uncovered from his abandoned MacBook.
Former President Trump filed a class-action lawsuit last week against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, arguing that three big tech companies are violating Americans’ First Amendment rights by selectively censoring information along with its recent action of banning and suspending his accounts.