Social media platforms must implement measures that will ensure untrustworthy information is not amplified as tech companies are responsible for stopping the promotion of harmful content on their sites, the White House declared on Wednesday.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during the daily briefing that US President Joe Biden believes that "major platforms have a responsibility related to the health and safety of all Americans to stop amplifying untrustworthy content, disinformation and misinformation, especially related to COVID-19, vaccinations and elections.”
She also indicated the president's view is that tech giants must do more to curb the spread of harmful social media posts, as well as improve the methods in which they address such content.
"I think we are, of course, a believer in First Amendment rights, I think what the decisions are that the social media platforms need to make is how they address disinformation, misinformation, especially related to life threatening issues, like COVID-19 and vaccinations," Psaki underscored.
The press secretary's remarks came moments after she deflected a question about the Facebook oversight board's decision to uphold the suspension of Trump's account. "This is an independent board’s decision, and we’re not going to have any comment on the future of the former president’s social media platform,” she said when asked about the development.
Trump had been banned from Facebook since January, following the storming of the US Capitol by thousands of his supporters who sought to stop the confirmation of the 2020 US election results.
While the oversight board concluded that the platform was right to ban Trump, investigators ruled that Facebook had inappropriately imposed the suspension without offering clear standards. It was also noted that Facebook needed to outline a consistent set of rules that are also applied to other users.
Trump blasted the Facebook decision earlier, opting to also condemn social media platforms who followed suit by banning him from their site. He referred to the platforms as a "total disgrace," noting that the so-called offending companies would inevitably "pay a political price."
The latest developments came as Trump announced on Tuesday that he was launching a new communication site, dubbed "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump." The former president described the newly-launched platform as one that is "a place to speak freely and safely."