Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., tore into the Biden administration on Sunday over its efforts to crack down on so-called coronavirus “misinformation” on social media.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki generated headlines last week when she revealed that the administration was flagging what it considers to be problematic Facebook posts jeopardizing the federal government’s vaccination goals. Psaki also suggested those who are banned on one social media platform for “misinformation” should be banned from others as well.
“Her remarks were asinine but also very dangerous,” Cammack told Fox News at Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit in Tampa. “And they point to a bigger problem with this administration of overstepping their bounds and their priorities. They’re seemingly OK with Facebook making money from the cartels advertising illegal activity, but they’re comfortable with determining what is fact and what is fiction and encouraging the social media companies to de-platform people across all platforms if they don’t agree with this administration.”
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“The Biden administration is probably the most dangerous group of people when it comes to the United States Constitution and fighting for our First Amendment rights,” she added. “So we as Americans should be deeply concerned about this administration’s actions to undermine our Constitution and to support censorship across all platforms for whatever they deem to be not in line with their narrative.”
Cammack argued that a debate is needed over whether or not Big Tech censorship is a free speech issue and called for examining a private company’s role as a “new public square.”
“The information controlled by these companies is influencing everything from public education systems to cultural norms to information about COVID, general health, public policy, elections, we have to determine where is the new public square and where is that balance need to be found,” Cammack said. “I think there is a huge amount of anti-trust issues and we need to look at breaking up Big Tech, but we have to be mindful that as a constitutional republic, we have to also tow that line of respecting private businesses. But for so long, as much money as they have taken, these businesses, we have to be mindful that they are the new public squares so they are subject to a different set of rules.
“I, quite frankly, don’t think that anyone has brought that narrative to the forefront. They all want to have one extreme versus the other when in a moment in time like this, we have to be thoughtful and strategic about how we can move forward when we deal with Big Tech.”
Cammack appeared doubtful on the subject of striking bipartisanship when it comes to reining in Big Tech through legislation since “the left only seems to be concerned about censorship when it starts happening to them,” but that a “bipartisan discussion” is possible.
“No matter what your political ideology is, censorship is bad,” Cammack told Fox News. “The First Amendment protects your right to your opinion, but also someone’s ability to be offended by it but it doesn’t mean you can shout someone down and shut them out. So I think there is room for a bipartisan discussion about this because we are at the precipice where it’s going to get to a point of no return. It’s very dangerous.”
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The Florida congresswoman warned that Section 230 reform could result in social media platforms eliminating “both extremes” on the political spectrum, something she suggested would not “foster the type of dialogue that we need to be having.”
“We need to be respectful of opinions whether we like them or not. And I think that the left forgot about that a long time ago,” Cammack said.