President urges social media platforms and news outlets to ‘deal with misinformation and disinformation’
U.S. President Joe Biden’s latest “surge response” to combat the spread of Covid-19 includes calls on big tech and media companies to block false claims allegedly related to the pandemic.
“I specifically appeal to social media companies and the media,” Biden said Thursday. “Please deal with misinformation and disinformation on your show. It has to stop.”
Biden’s comments came as he announced a raft of new measures aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19, including free masks, more free testing and plans to deploy additional military medical teams to help hospitals deal with increasing patient loads. He did not specify what is misinformation or disinformation in the age of the pandemic.
Now — Biden: “I’m specifically calling on social media companies and media organizations — please deal with misinformation and disinformation on your shows. It has to stop.”pic.twitter.com/NeVU74web3
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) January 13, 2022
Biden Urges Crackdown Immediately After Rebuking Those Who Choose Not to Get Vaccinated Saying They Get Vaccinated “Block the way” fight against virus.
Twitter, Facebook and other platforms have instituted strict policies on comments about Covid-19 if it conflicts with the current mainstream approach to dealing with the virus. Social media giants also employ fact-checking teams to vigorously enforce these policies.But a Biden administration is scrambling to find more ways to fight the coronavirus “misinformation” After a fast-spreading variant of Omicron pushed new infections and hospitalizations to record highs.
Biden’s apparent call for censorship quickly sparked a backlash on social media. This includes claims that the president is one of those spreading misinformation.Biden lied last month “almost all“ Covid-19 deaths were among the unvaccinated, he claimed last July “If you get these vaccines, you don’t get Covid.”
Other critics blasted Biden’s statement in principle. “Imagine when you’re sworn in to uphold the Constitution, demanding censorship of your own country, and the First Amendment is free speech,” Podcast host Barrington Martin II said on Twitter.
Imagine when you swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, demanding that your own country be censored as POTUS, and the First Amendment is freedom of speech. Wow.
— Barrington Martin II (@_BarringtonII) January 13, 2022
Many observers question the wisdom of letting gatekeepers decide which statements are misinformation, thereby hindering open discussion and independent truth-seeking.Still others say Biden is trying to contain the damage after failing to deliver on Covid-19 campaign promises, leading to drop channel in his approval ratings.