Sen. Coons on White House Working With FB: Facebook Should Remove What is ‘Demonstrably False’

By Elisabeth Nieshalla | July 21, 2021 | 1:15pm EDT
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)   (Getty Images)
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- When asked whether the Biden administration should work with Facebook to suppress postings it considers vaccine misinformation, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said social media platforms should “lean farther in” by “taking off their platforms things that are demonstrably false.”

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, CNS News asked the senator, “Should the Biden administration work with Facebook to suppress postings it considers to be vaccine misinformation.”

Sen. Coons said, “That’s a fascinating framing for the question. So, President Biden has repeatedly, publicly reinforced the calls from the surgeon general for social media platforms to be more responsible in terms of policing -- policing is the wrong word -- in terms of ensuring that in the midst of a public health challenge, this ongoing pandemic, folks aren’t being misled by demonstrably untrue content.”

CNS News asked again, “So, you do believe that the Biden administration should be working with Facebook?”

“You used the word ‘suppress,” he said.

“Yes,” said CNS News.

“Look, I think social media platforms make decisions every day about what content they consider to violate their standards and what doesn’t,” Senator Coons said.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“I would hope social media platforms in the middle of an ongoing global pandemic would be responsible about what they think is important for people to know and be – lean farther in towards taking off their platforms things that are demonstrably false,” he said.

President Joe Biden was asked on Friday, July 16, about social media platforms like Facebook and the alleged spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

“They’re killing people,” Biden claimed. “The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told CNS News during her press conference on Monday that the White House has “not asked Facebook to block any individual posts,” but the Biden administration “certainly raised where we have concerns about information that’s inaccurate, that is traveling out there in whatever platform it’s traveling on.”

On July16, Psaki said the administration is “in regular touch with these social media platforms, and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff, but also members of our COVID-19 team, given, as [U.S. Surgeon General] Dr. Murthy conveyed, this is a big issue of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic.”

As the federal government, she said, “We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s office. We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”

“You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others, uh – if you – for providing misinformation out there,” said Psaki.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) responded to her comments by stating on Twitter, “Her statement makes it abundantly clear they want people banned for simply disagreeing with the government’s pre-approved narrative.” 

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