Jen Psaki says White House is ‘in regular touch’ with social media platforms about misinformation concerns

Jen Psaki says White House is ‘in regular touch’ with social media platforms about misinformation concerns
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is doubling down on the Biden administration’s calls to stamp out “misinformation” online, stating on Friday that users “shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not on others.”

Psaki made her remarks after a reporter asked her about the administration’s efforts to lean on Big Tech companies to crack down on what the administration deems to be “misinformation.” Psaki also told the press that the administration contacts media publishers when they have an issue with something the media is covering.

“So a couple of the steps that we have that could be constructive for the public health of the country are providing for Facebook or other platforms to measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform, and the audience it’s reaching, also with the public, with all of you, to create robust enforcement strategies that bridge their properties and provide transparency about rules, you shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others, if you, for providing misinformation out there,” she said. “Taking faster action against harmful posts, as you all know, information travels quite quickly.”

A full transcript of Psaki’s remarks follows:

REPORTER: You went through kind of top line details on this yesterday, but can you elaborate a little bit on the Facebook … the administration to Facebook, flagging disinformation? And then there’s also some reporting that we’ve had that Facebook maybe hasn’t been as proactive as the White House would like it to be in response to some of the flags. And so is there a process of how flagging works, and then whether Facebook has been amenable to those requests?

PSAKI: Sure. Well, I would say first, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that we’re in regular touch with social media platforms, just like we’re in regular touch with all of you and your media outlets about areas where we have concern, information that might be useful, information that may or may not be interesting to your viewers, you all make decisions, just like the social media platforms make decisions, even though they’re a private sector company and different, but just as an example. So we are 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. And we work to engage with them to better understand the enforcement of social media platform policies. …

REPORTER: And then has Facebook been as proactive as the White House would like in terms of its response to those flags?

PSAKI: Well, I think, as I noted yesterday, Phil, there is more, there are more steps that everyone can take. And I would just note again, this is a responsibility of officials speaking, of course, on behalf of the government, it’s the responsibility of members of the media. It’s the responsibility of citizens and civic leaders and people who are trusted voices in communities around the country, that has a broad definition, social media platforms is one of them. And as we know, it is also, they’re are also areas where a lot of people get news and information. Sometimes those are accurate news items reported by some of your outlets or accurate information shared by a neighbor. Sometimes there is information that is not, it is hard to discriminate, as we know, this is not a new issue. But it is an issue that is impacting people’s lives. 

So a couple of the steps that we have, you know, that could be constructive for the public health of the country are providing for Facebook or other platforms to measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform, and the audience it’s reaching, also with the public, with all of you, to create robust enforcement strategies that bridge their properties and provide transparency about rules, you shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others, if you, for providing misinformation out there. Taking faster action against harmful posts, as you all know, information travels quite quickly. If it’s up there for days and days and days, when people see it, you know, there’s it’s hard to put that back in a box. 

And of course, promoting quality information algorithms. I don’t know how they work, but they all do know how they work. So those are some of the steps that we think could be constructive for public health, for public information for public and you know, the right of the public to know. Go ahead.

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