Government agencies are flagging posts as “misinformation” for Facebook. Essentially telling internet companies who to censor. We’ve always suspected as much, but now they’ve actually admitted it.
Jen Psaki, Biden’s Press Secretary, said as much in a press briefing last week:
We are flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation”
If true – and that’s never a given when Psaki is talking – it’s a frank admission that the White House is actively breaching the first amendment rights of US citizens (and potentially the human rights of foreign nationals too).
The issue of censorship on the internet is one we have discussed at length at OffG. It has been slowly and steadily increasing for over a decade, with marked acceleration after the Ukraine conflict kicked it to the top of the to-do list in 2015.
Every act of terrorism, every controversy, every election…every “pandemic” is new excuse to place fresh restrictions on who is allowed to say what, where.
This culminated in every single social media and internet platform coordinating to completely remove the incumbent President of the United States from the internet.
News that X celebrity, Y journalist or Z website has been deleted or demonetized or de-platformed is an everyday occurrence now. The internet, or at least the mainstream internet, has become a quasi-police state. The digital Gestapo knock on doors in the middle of the night and *poof*…the dissident voice is quieted.
The mainstream media is, of course, fine with this. They outright refuse to talk about “censorship”. Instead choosing to talk about “free speech having consequences”, or arguing that “free speech needs a new definition in the age of social media”
The “liberal” or “progressive” stance has always been that free speech is only about state suppression, not about private companies or individuals.
The argument has always been that Facebook/Twitter/Google etc. are private companies that have every right to decide what appears on their platforms. Of course, if the state is actively instructing the private companies on what to remove…that argument crumbles to dust.
Psaki’s casual revelation means this sophistry is no longer simply logically flawed, it is now inherently dishonest.
It also confirms that the pantomime of government vs social media is just that…a pantomime. Every time a politician rails against Facebook for allowing hate speech, or bemoans the lack of regulations for internet giants, they are lying.
It’s a false conflict. A constructed PR exercise designed to hide a basic truth – The government tells Facebook what to remove, and Facebook removes it.
They said it, and they can’t unsay it…but they’ll probably try to stop us repeating it.