WaPo Runs to the Defense of Jen Psaki, but Accidentally Reveals Another Problem

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

As we previously reported, Jen Psaki admitted that the Biden administration was flagging people to Facebook for misinformation. She also said that people who are banned on one platform should be banned on all other social media platforms and she spoke of 12 people who were the biggest purveyors of “misinformation” when it came to the Wuhan coronavirus.

Peter Doocy then hit her with an important question about what the government was doing looking at people’s Facebook profiles or with such a list of 12 people? It’s an incredibly important question. Who made the government the determiner of what constitutes “misinformation?” And what gives them the right to censor information with which they disagree by trying to pressure Facebook to shut people down? Not to mention putting a target on the back of the 12 people in question.

When the government gets involved it raises constitutional questions (and potentially makes Facebook a “state actor,” if it is operating at the behest of the state).

Now, media should be concerned about government trying to censor.

But instead, as we saw last night, CNN’s Jake Tapper actually tried to spin this as a problem with Peter Doocy, that he was somehow wrong about the Biden administration “spying” on Facebook profiles.

The talking points must have gone out because the Washington Post also picked up the same theme, trying to somehow make it about Doocy as well — rather than about the actual issue he raised: why is the government doing trying to pressure Facebook to shut down people?

They want to quibble over his usage of the term “spying” on Facebook profiles but completely deflect from the bigger point of using such a list – wherever it came from — to flag people.

They can’t argue with what she said.

But since the Washington Post wants to talk about where the list came from, let’s talk about it. As the WaPo acknowledges, the list she was referencing appears to be the “The Disinformation Dozen” — from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, an international group based in the U.K. with an office in D.C.

NBC News said that research from CCDH was used in Google taking action against the Federalist and Zero Hedge. NBC said they are going after the sites for things said about the BLM movement. Google said that they had issues with the Federalist’s comment section, not the posts.

Here’s how the CCDH describes their work:

The Center’s work combines both analysis and active disruption of these networks. CCDH’s solutions seek to increase the economic, political and social costs of all parts of the infrastructure – the actors, systems and culture – that support, and often profit from hate and misinformation.

Solutions such as Stop Funding Fake News have proven effective in demonetising and reducing the reach of websites that masquerade as real news but in fact contain conspiracy theories, misinformation and propaganda, intermingled with shoddy journalism. [….]

CCDH have also forced social media companies to establish precedent and remove hateful or dangerous speech by holding them directly accountable for their tolerance of hateful content.​

The Center’s solutions have proven effective against a number of different types of hate and misinformation, like identity-based hate, climate change denial and health misinformation. The aim is to produce practicable, efficient and scalable strategies and tactics to counter hate and misinformation globally.

So, the White House is using this kind of a group that is going after people for what they deem to be “fake news?” “Propaganda?” Even “climate change denial?”

In trying to evade the “spying” claim, the WaPo unintentionally highlighted another problem. What the heck is going on, when the White House would be using or referencing such a group?