In one of the most anti-freedom of speech pronouncements ever made by the U.S. government, the Biden administration has come clean on its incestuous relationship with Big Tech.
The jaw-dropping news was delivered by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who stated in a press briefing, “We are in regular touch with these social media platforms, and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff, but also members of our COVID-19 team.
“We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s office,” Psaki stated. “We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”
Psaki described the “proposed changes that we have made to social media platforms, including Facebook.”
The proposed changes include a downright Orwellian quip from Psaki.
“It’s important to take faster action against harmful posts,” Psaki stated. “As you all know, information travels quite quickly on social media platforms; sometimes it’s not accurate. And Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove harmful, violative posts — posts that will be within their policies for removal often remain up for days. That’s too long. The information spreads too quickly.”
One day later, at her daily press briefing, Psaki doubled down on the administration’s pro-censorship position.
“It shouldn’t come as any surprise that we’re in regular touch with social media platforms,” Psaki said at the briefing. “We work to engage with them to better understand the enforcement of social media platform policies.”
“You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others … for providing misinformation out there,” Psaki stated at the briefing.
So, the cat is officially out of the bag. The Biden administration is in cahoots with social media platforms to censor Americans’ freedom of speech.
Some say that social media platforms are private companies, which gives them the right to determine what is and isn’t allowed to be posted. This is wrong for many reasons.
Social media companies, unlike every other media entity, are granted a liability shield courtesy of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. In a nutshell, this protects these companies from any consequences pertaining to what is posted on their platforms. Because these companies benefit greatly from this liability shield, they have an obligation to ensure that all Americans retain their right to post content, if said content is not “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable,” according to the Act.
“It is the policy of the United States to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation,” the law states.
Doesn’t this mean that the federal government has no business colluding with Big Tech to engage in censorship?
“It is the policy of the United States to encourage the development of technologies which maximize user control over what information is received by individuals, families, and schools who use the Internet and other interactive computer services,” the law states.
This is plain as day. Individual Americans, not the federal government, are supposed to be in charge of what information they choose to imbibe on social media platforms. However, the Biden administration has other ideas. The administration has taken it upon itself to determine what is and isn’t allowed to be posted on Big Tech, under the guise of the pandemic. For now, the Biden administration is clamping down on “misinformation” pertaining to the federal government’s vaccine program.
In a few months, what would stop the administration from censoring pro-Second Amendment posts in the name of out-of-control gun violence? Or removing posts about anything the administration deems counter to its policy priorities?
The fact that the current administration is working hand-in-hand with Big Tech to censor posts it considers anti-public health is anti-American.
Every American, no matter what side of the political aisle they stand on, should be concerned when Big Government and Big Tech act in unison to suppress free speech.
Maybe it’s time to go back to what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a “leader of the Progressive Movement,” according to Wikipedia, said in 1927: “If there be time to expose through discussion, the falsehoods and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”
Chris Talgo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior editor at The Heartland Institute. A version of this article appeared in The Daily Signal on July 21, 2021. Reprinted with permission.