For people who claim to oppose fascism, progressives seem to have no problem with the Biden administration exhibiting fascistic tendencies. In the latest development of the “let’s censor Joe Rogan” saga, the White House used its bully pulpit to call for even more censorship of opinions that conflict with their own.
RedState’s Nick Arama reported that during a recent press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki lauded Spotify’s decision to apply warning labels to certain types of controversial content. However, this was not enough for the press secretary – she indicated the company should be doing more to suppress views on COVID-19 that are not Democrat-approved.
When asked about Spotify’s warning, she said: “This disclaimer is a positive step, but we want every platform to continue doing more to call out mis- and disinformation while also uplifting accurate information.”
She continued, outlining the dangers of the virus. “Look at the facts, right? You are 16 times more likely to be hospitalized if you’re unvaccinated and 68 times more likely to die than someone who is boosted, if you’re unvaccinated,” she said. “That’s pretty significant. And we think that is something that unquestionably should be the basis of how people are communicating about it.”
She concluded that the disclaimer is “a good step” but that “there’s more that can be done.”
Psaki encourages platforms like Spotify to censor their content. pic.twitter.com/odaxP7hqmn
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 1, 2022
This is not the first time this administration has used its position to pressure tech companies to increase their censorship efforts against conservatives. For starters, let’s take a trip back to July 2021, when Psaki revealed that the White House was pressuring Facebook and other social media companies to tamp down on posts that contradicted the left’s narrative on COVID-19.
During a press conference, Psaki explained that the White House was flagging posts it deemed “misinformation” and pushing the company to remove them. “Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove harmful, uh, violative posts,” she said.
.@PressSec: "We're flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation." pic.twitter.com/xTCvg3tyFQ
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 15, 2021
But wait, there’s more!
In the same month, it was revealed that Biden was considering ways to alter Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to punish tech companies that do not censor enough. During an interview with MSNBC, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield explained:
“It is a big and complicated ecosystem, and everybody bears responsibility to ensure that we are not providing people with bad information about a vaccine that will save their lives.”
The administration and the Democratic National Committee even looked at censoring mass text messages for opinions on COVID that do not affirm the Democrat-approved narrative.
So, what’s the problem here?
The problem is that the federal government has no business pushing private companies to do their bidding – especially when it comes to matters related to the First Amendment. I’m sure you can imagine how this would play out if former President Donald Trump had used his office to coerce Twitter to censor his political opposition. Progressives would become full-throated, free speech advocates overnight.
But even worse, the government trying to compel a private business to do its bidding is rather disturbing. They are not attempting to pass legislation to force these companies to engage in more censorship – at least, not yet. But the idea that the White House would think it is acceptable to use its influence in this way shows that they will not hesitate to seek other means to enforce the suppression of differing viewpoints online.
It has become even more apparent as time goes on that the left is not content with using their “misinformation” trope to deal with matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic. At some point, they are going to use it with other important political topic — silencing conservatives who push back against the left’s arguments. The term “misinformation” is only an updated version of the “fake news” trope progressives were using, until President Trump turned the label on the activist media.
It is already bad enough that these tech companies do more than enough censorship on their own. How much worse will the problem become if they have the power of the federal government behind them? If Republicans fail to take action when they regain control of Congress, we might just find out.