Private groups working with the Biden White House have employees tasked with combating what they consider “disinformation” online.
On June 16, Politico celebrated the Biden administration’s fight against the allegedly problematic disinformative content on social media networks.
According to Politico, the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Countering Disinformation Program, the taxpayer-funded White House Office of Digital Strategy, and the private group Building Back Together took “different roles in monitoring and determining what content is consumed on social media.”
The article’s lead-in mentions that the Biden administration has a couple dozen employees working against “disinformation,” in addition to outsourcing.
"*" indicates required fields
“Combating misinformation (falsehoods) and disinformation (intentional falsehoods) can be a massive undertaking that requires intense and meticulous social media tracking. It also means confronting social media platforms, which can create First Amendment issues for the White House, if it is viewed as trying to restrict content.”Natasha Korecki for Politico
The article says that “Building Back Together, an advocacy group closely aligned with Biden, has assumed the role of battling social media outfits, including Facebook, on behalf of the White House, in an ongoing effort to keep false election narratives off the platform. The DNC has taken on more of the hand-to-hand combat in defense of Biden and other Democrats, as well as keeping track of emerging themes it has identified as building momentum on the right.”
Politico’s approach is positive. It highlights the Biden administration’s fight against the supposedly false narratives “invented” from the right, i.e. conservatives.
According to Politico, the idea of creating or employing people to work against disinformation online stems from a journalist taking the initiative to ask the president if he still trusted Dr. Anthony Fauci after all the controversial stories surrounding the scientist.
“Biden popped his head back into the room, ‘Yes, I’m very confident in Dr. Fauci,'” the media outlet notes. “No one would have expected the president to answer the question any differently. Anthony Fauci is his chief adviser on the Covid-19 pandemic, a celebrated infectious disease expert, and, for much of his lengthy career, one of the most trusted voices in all of government. For the White House, however, the fact that the question was even asked set off alarm bells.”
The article suggests that the criticism of Fauci is based on disinformation from the American right-wing. The article does not mention, however, the scientist’s most recent controversies, including the content of the controversial emails exposed where the gain-of-function experiment is mentioned or the several contradictions Fauci had during the last year.
“Conservatives on social media for more than a year had undertaken efforts to discredit Fauci. Increasingly, those efforts had relied on exaggerations, misrepresentations and outright conspiracies. Now it had moved from the fringes to a presidential forum.,” Korecki explained.
In addition to Fauci, Critical Race Theory and the participation of trans athletes in women’s sports; these groups fighting disinformation are keeping an eye on publications about the fraudulent election narrative, pushed by former President Trump, and videos where Joe Biden is shown to be lackluster and lost when answering questions from the press.
The article explains that the fight against disinformation can come mainly in two ways: by pressuring social networks to regulate content; or by disseminating “factual and positive” information that opposes “conspiracy theories”. In other words, there is not only a fight against “disinformation”, but also an effort to transmit supposedly “objective” information to users.
Is the Government fighting “disinformation” or is it regulating content on social networks?
“Fighting disinformation” is a phrase that, in fact, sounds good. But it can also be interpreted in another way: Joe Biden’s administration is working to regulate content on social networks.
In the Daily Wire, journalist Ben Johnson published an article about the Biden administration’s initiative to combat what they consider disinformation.
“The DNC expects the fight to regulate, bury, or delete online content to be so important that it mainstreamed its disinformation program directly into its communications department ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The reason why becomes clearer when you understand the DNC’s definition of ‘conspiracy theory'”, denounces the journalist explaining that conspiracies are basically the denunciations of conservatives about Anthony Fauci or any other subject used by the American right wing stigmatized by the mainstream media.
The danger is clear: if the government has groups and individuals working to suppress, regulate or stigmatize what is considered “disinformation”, all through pressure on platforms such as Facebook, there is the possibility that the current administration has direct power to limit or control public debate.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.
Contacto: [email protected]