Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki urged MSNBC viewers Thursday to “think of the danger” that a failure to censor hate speech, inaccurate information and racism would bring.
“If you were running a local political campaign and you’re running ads on television, and you say something inaccurate about your opponent, guess what happens? The ad is pulled down,” Psaki said. “These platforms live by a different set of rules, and people consume more information from them than any other source of media. Think of the danger of that.”
The House Oversight Committee held a hearing Wednesday on Twitter’s censorship practices, focusing on the company’s actions towards an Oct. 14, 2020 report by the New York Post on the contents of a laptop abandoned by Hunter Biden. Twitter locked multiple accounts, including the Post’s and the personal account of then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for sharing the story, citing its “hacked materials” policy.
“As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, they’re allowing hate speech, racism. Also, let’s not forget inaccurate information about vaccines and how they can save your lives. They run rampant on these platforms,” Psaki said.
During the hearing, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina described side effects from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine while questioning former Twitter executives about the censorship of alleged “misinformation” about COVID-19.
Among those who were “shadow-banned” by Twitter was Stanford University’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of health policy, who said that lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic harmed children. Dr. Andrew Bostom, a former academic at Brown University, was suspended for five months for alleged “medical misinformation.”
“What these Republicans are doing, essentially, just to break down past all of this crazy word salad of yesterday, they are defending the pushing of inaccurate, dangerous information on the platforms that most people receive information from,” Psaki continued. “That is racist, dangerous, prompted January 6th, is prompting people not to get vaccinated. That’s what they’re defending.”
“That’s the hill they have decided they want to die on,” Psaki, now a host on MSNBC, concluded.
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