Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called on the Biden administration to explain the extent of their collaboration with Big Tech companies to censor individuals on social media.
Blackburn’s letter comes after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated that the administration has worked with Big Tech to limit “misinformation” regarding COVID-19.
“We are in regular touch with these social media platforms, and those engagements typically happen through members of our senior staff, but also members of our COVID-19 team,” Psaki said in her press briefing.
Blackburn argued the move by the executive branch is limiting American free speech.
“What the Biden White House is doing—namely, ordering big tech companies to ban Americans that do not regurgitate government approved messaging—is what authoritarian regimes do. The American people deserve to know the extent of the White House’s coordination with big tech. President Biden should waive executive privilege and release the emails,” she said in a statement.
In Blackburn’s letter, the Tennessee Senator laid out multiple questions to determine the level of involvement by White House officials.
“What is the legal basis for your Administration’s decision to direct social media platforms to flag and remove posts from their sites? Does the White House have staff dedicated to searching social media for content to flag for removal?” she questioned.
Additionally, Blackburn compared the efforts to that of the Cuban government, which she has urged Biden to stand up to and support the mass protests that are currently happening throughout the country.
“These revelations are deeply concerning. The blatant actions by your administration to work with big tech companies to censor Americans’ free speech are shocking – and arguably a violation of the First Amendment. Communist countries such as Cuba are currently taking away their citizens’ right to use the internet to communicate; the U.S. government should be standing up to, not looking to mirror, authoritarian regimes such as these,” she wrote.
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