The curmudgeons of the Cult of Donald Trump continue to be obsessed with insuring that the American people preserve their freedom to die – and to kill others – due to their politically driven and mindless opposition to getting vaccinated. That perverse expression of pseudo-patriotism has already resulted in regional spikes of COVID-19 infections, hospitalization, and deaths, in Republican counties and states throughout the nation.
Consistent with that stubborn embrace of suicide-by-pandemic, the anti-vax brigades on social media have affixed themselves to a sentence fragment from Thursday’s White House press briefing. Press Secretary Jen Psaki was addressing the profusion of purposeful lies about the pandemic, and the vaccines that prevent it, that are being posted on Facebook and other social media platforms. She was highlighting the unprecedented finding by the Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, that vaccine disinformation is a serious threat to public health. Her remarks included how the Biden administration is working to counter anti-vax propaganda, most of which is spread by a few dogged online hoaxters. She said in part that…
“In terms of actions that we’re working to take from the federal government, we’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s office. We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation. We’re working with doctors and medical professionals … to get trusted content out there.”
“Facebook needs to move more quickly to remove harmful, violative posts. Posts that would be within their policy for removal often would remain up for days. That’s too long. The information spreads too quickly.”
Press sec. Psaki on surgeon general warning Americans about misinformation: "Facebook should provide, publicly and transparently, data on the reach of COVID vaccine misinformation—not just engagement, but the reach of the misinformation." https://t.co/eiLre16KqR pic.twitter.com/shM33v67Oy
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) July 15, 2021
All of that would would appear to be a reasonable agenda to advance the health and safety of an at risk population. Unless, that is, you’re a right-wing Trump cultist intent on finding horrors nestled into every crevice of rational dialogue. And, unfortunately, there are way too many of them littering the InterTubes.
Consequently, an array of stupefied outrage has arisen online over Psaki’s remarks. The vax-averse trolls are aghast at what they call an affront to free speech. They are misinterpreting Psaki’s comments as government intrusion into Facebook’s private rights of expression. Which is peculiar considering they have also recently been supporting Trump’s ludicrous lawsuit aimed at undermining those rights. Fox News even featured Sean Hannity and Alan Dershowitz making asses of themselves while attempting to make that legal argument.
Other Inter-trolls are saying that Psaki is proposing censorship. Or that she is revealing a conspiracy between government and business to silence critics. Some are associating it with communism or fascism or some other repellent ideology that they don’t even know how to define.
For the benefit of the Trumpists, whose reading comprehension skills are sorely lacking, Psaki said none of that. The entirety of her comments were clearly describing an intention to “flag” (i.e. bring to the attention of) vaccine disinformation and outright lies that have the potential to cause real harm. She explicitly notes that the content she’s referring to is that which has already been identified – by Facebook – as violating their policies.
Psaki is not commanding or controlling Facebook. She isn’t colluding with them to attack political foes. She is doing nothing more than alerting them to posts that Facebook itself deems harmful and not permitted. These are not Psaki’s or Biden’s rules that are being violated. They are Facebook’s rules. And anyone – Psaki, Trump, and every Facebook user – can report a violative post. Facebook even has a “report” function on every post for people to do this on their own.
Nevertheless, the Trumpian crackpots are up in arms again, over an offense that exists only in their warped imaginations. It’s reminiscent of their freak out over Psaki allegedly dispatching door-to-door forced vaccinator squads. Which, of course, was never even remotely suggested. These nutballs are just ultra-sensitively tuned for hyperbolic rage spasms whenever something infects their pre-misconstrued thoughts. Sadly, in this matter it is likely to lead to unnecessary suffering and grief.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
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