Biden. administration plans to monitor texts, social media posts for COVID-19 vaccine disinformation

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:01 PM PT – Friday, July 16, 2021

The White House announced their efforts with Facebook to take aggressive action on problematic social media posts. The administration said they would work to flag and censor anything they deemed to be disinformation about COVID-19.

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy announced his advisory on the dangers of health misinformation, which he called a “public health threat.”

“Today, the Rockefeller Foundation is announcing a 13.5 million dollar commitment to counter health misinformation,” he announced “The digital public library of America is announcing that they will convene a set of librarians, scholars, journalists and civic leaders to confront health misinformation together.”

Murthy called on tech companies to ramp up their efforts to monitor Americans and stop so-called misinformation “super-spreaders”.

“We expect more from our technology companies,” he asserted. “We’re asking them to operate with greater transparency and accountability. We are asking them to monitor misinformation more closely.”

Social media companies have been recommended by the administration to reduce the number of shares a post deemed false could receive. During a press briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki asserted Facebook should utilize their algorithm process to promote what they believe to be true.

“We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s office,” she stated. “…We are also investing, as you all have seen, in the president’s, the vice president’s and Dr. Fauci’s time in meeting with influencers who also have large reaches to a lot of these target audiences who can spread and share accurate information.”

Psaki claimed there were 12 people who have provided 65 percent of vaccine misinformation online, which has drowned out other voices.

“There are also proposed changes we have made to social media platforms, including Facebook and those specifically, are four key steps,” she expressed. “One, that they measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform.”

The other steps include platforms enforcing rules as well as removing posts. These censoring measures come on the heels of Biden’s door-to-door campaign to increase vaccination rates in hesitant areas.

Of the many Republicans opposing the efforts, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) said “a South Carolinian’s decision to get vaccinated is a personal one for them to make and not the government’s.” He asserted pressuring people to get the vaccine was a bad policy.

The Democratic National Committee, an ally to Biden, reportedly made plans to work with SMS carriers to monitor text messages and dispel misinformation about vaccines.

“If you send a text message to a friend or to a family member or to who ever and it includes whatever they deem as misinformation that somehow you’re going to get a message on your phone from the government,” David Rubin of the Rubin Report expressed. “That’s going to be in cahoots with the Democratic National Committee. What is going on here and who’s going to decide what misinformation is?”

Meanwhile, many critics call these plans an authoritarian form of spying that infringes on the first amendment.

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Carley Joanou
Author: Carley Joanou

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