Sen. Shelby on FB and White House Censorship: ‘Government Should Never Suppress Speech’

By Ashlianna Kreiner | July 21, 2021 | 4:44pm EDT
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) – In reference to the Biden administration working with Facebook to suppress postings it considers “vaccine misinformation,” Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said, “I have a problem with anybody suppressing free speech. And it looks like, that a lot of the high-tech people are interested in suppressing.”

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, CNS News asked the senator, “Should the Biden administration work with Facebook to Suppress postings it considers to be vaccine misinformation?

Sen. Shelby said “Well, let me tell you what, I have a problem with anybody suppressing free speech. And it looks like, that a lot of the high-tech people are interested in suppressing the—and the government should never suppress. And I think sooner or later the U.S. Supreme Court will speak on that.”

Last week, the Biden administration admitted that it is working with Facebook to suppress certain posts on the social media platform that contain alleged “vaccine misinformation.”

When asked about the posts on July 16, Biden said, “They’re killing people. … The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people."

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.  (Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. (Getty Images)

Also on July 16, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration is “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, given, as [U.S. Surgeon General] Dr. Murthy conveyed, this is a big issue of misinformation, specifically on the pandemic.”

“We’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the Surgeon General’s office,” said Psaki.  “We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”

“You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others, uh – if you – for providing misinformation out there,” she said.

Psaki then explained four suggestions the White House has given to Facebook and commented, “We engage with them regularly and they certainly know what our asks are.”

However, Psaki told CNS News during her press conference on July 19 that the White House has “not asked Facebook to block any individual posts,” but the Biden administration “certainly raised where we have concerns about information that’s inaccurate that is traveling out there in whatever platform it’s traveling on.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) commented to Psaki on Twitter, “Her statement makes it abundantly clear they want people banned for simply disagreeing with the government’s pre-approved narrative.” 

Transcript

CNSNews.com: “Excuse me, Senator.”

Shelby: “Yes ma’am, what’s going on?”

CNSNews.com: “Should the Biden Administration work with Facebook to suppress postings it considers to be vaccine misinformation?”

Shelby: “Say that again?”

CNSNews.com: “I apologize, Should the Biden administration work with Facebook to suppress postings it considers to be vaccine misinformation?”

Shelby: “Well, let me tell you what, I have a problem with anybody suppressing free speech. And it looks like that a lot of the high tech people are interested in suppressing the—and the government should never suppress. And I think sooner or later the U.S. Supreme Court will speak on that.”

CNSNews.com: “All right, thank you.”

MRC Store