Republican Senator Josh Hawley said a “foreign black money group” is behind the research cited by the Biden administration that 12 social media figures are responsible for the majority of vaccine misinformation online.
“For days, the Biden administration has said 12 people were ‘guilty’ of spreading # COVID19 ‘disinformation’ on social media. Who compiled this list for them? The Center for Countering Digital Hate. foreign black money group, ”Hawley tweeted. Tuesday, accompanied by a Guardian article titled “Majority of misinformation on Covid came from 12 people, finds reports”.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit and nongovernmental organization, reported in March that 12 social media accounts are responsible for 65% of vaccine misinformation. The group has offices in London and Washington, DC, and was founded by Imran Ahmed, who describes himself as “a recognized authority on social and psychological dynamics social networks. “
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“This is the same black money group that tried to defeat the curator @FDRLST last year. And they’ve taken on other Tory sites as well, like @BreitbartNews,” Hawley continued, referring to to the group that worked last summer to strip the Federalist of its Google advertising revenue.
“But who is funding this black money group overseas – Big Tech? Billionaire activists? Foreign governments? We have no idea. Americans deserve to know what foreign interests are trying to influence American democracy. “
The Center for Countering Digital Hate did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on Hawley’s remarks.
The tweet comes after White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the Biden administration in collaboration with Facebook to curb misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine. She has repeatedly noted that the majority of misinformation online comes from 12 social media accounts, citing research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate.
“We regularly make sure that social media platforms are up to date with the latest dangerous public health stories that we and many other Americans see across social and mainstream media. And we are working to engage with them to better understand l ‘policy enforcement of social media platforms, “Psaki said at a press conference Friday.
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Paski also pointed out that if a user is banned from a platform “for providing disinformation”, that user should be banned from all others.
The relationship between the White House and Big Tech has aroused the ire of conservatives, including Mark Levin, who said last week that social media platforms “do the government’s job, they do the job of the Biden administration specifically, and of the democrat. Party.”
Psaki said the White House does not personally collect social media posts with misinformation about the vaccine, claiming platforms such as Facebook are private sector companies.
Levin, however, argued that Facebook is not a private business because of this relationship with the federal government and added that Psaki’s comments also make the former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Big Tech a “slam dunk”.
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“The Biden administration at multiple levels – senior executives, among others – works with Facebook and other social media platforms to identify disinformation and thereby sanction disinformation and censor social media posts, and disseminate information. You can’t say it anymore, this is an independent company, running its own business, ”Levin said on his radio show last Thursday.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hawley’s remarks on the Center for Countering Digital Hate.