Last week White House press secretary Jen Psaki had an interesting exchange with a Fox News Channel reporter over what she perceived to be “misinformation” on the COVID-19 vaccine. President Joe Biden has been critical of social media for what he alleges to be the spreading of misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines.
Naturally, the national press was quick to jump to the aid of the reporter and push back against the president, correct? Hardly.
For the most part, there has been little response by major media outlets for what is arguably advocating censorship. If anything, the media have supported the White House. Yet there was no such restraint by the major media against President Donald Trump when he requested some type of monitoring against social media. In fact, Twitter eventually suspended Donald Trump for what it considered false information and many media outlets cheered it.
Yet, there have been many major stories reported on the internet and social media that have been wrong.
In January 2020, many prominent Twitter and Facebook accounts were suspended for suggesting that COVID-19 may have escaped from a Wuhan lab. Now, it appears to be the case.
Hunter Biden’s laptop left at a repair shop was claimed to be a fake before the presidential election. Biden’s campaign initially called it a “conspiracy theory” and suggested he might have been hacked. After the election, major media outlets, including CNN, reported that the case is being investigated by the FBI and IRS to examine whether Hunter Biden violated tax laws and money laundering laws. It apparently is still under investigation.
After years of claims of Russian collusion throughout Trump’s presidency and continued leaks that a “bombshell” was coming, the Mueller Report was finally concluded. And what were the results? The investigation found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and no obstruction of justice.
The point is that internet censorship or free speech censorship is dangerous. Who gets to decide what is misinformation and what is credible? What was misinformation one month later proves to be correct.
The last thing we should do is allow the White House to determine who is credible. We must hope that the social media companies take it upon themselves to investigate matters. We must also hope they don’t fall in temptation to use their authority to censor content they disagree with.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that spreads misinformation. Hold those who spread false information accountable in a court of law, which is ultimately the most impartial way of determining what is true and what is false.