Public figures who have consistently called for more censorship online joined a new council Wednesday to “fix” social media.
The Council for Responsible Social Media, a project of Issue One, was publicly launched with their website saying it was created to address “the negative mental, civic, and public health impacts of social media in America.”
Members of the council include former Senator-turned-MSNBC pundit Claire McCaskill (D-MO), former Clinton chief of staff and Obama CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen. All have called for increased online censorship in the past.
In 2021, McCaskill joined a discussion with other Obama officials who claimed that it will take “years” for a “detox” of “lies” and “hate” from the right and “libertarians.”
Despite joining a council aimed at preventing so-called “misinformation” from spreading online, Panetta himself has pushed “fake news.” In 2020, he was one of the 51 former intelligence officials that signed a letter claiming that the release of Hunter Biden's emails "has the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."
In 2021, NewsBusters reported that Haugen claimed that “misinformation” keeps people online. She notably called on Facebook to implement enhanced content moderation tools to keep the internet “safe.”
"Misinformation, angry content, is enticing to people and keeps them on the platform," she said at the time.
Haugen told CNBC on Tuesday that concerns about enhanced content moderation are a “distraction from the real path forward, which is around product design, safety by design, transparency.”
The council’s website claims that part of the mission to “fix” social media is to regulate Big Tech.
“Big Tech companies are operating with no serious accountability or oversight,” their site added. “[T]hey are putting profits above the societal harms to our kids, for our communities, and to U.S. national security.”
While the council said it intends to challenge Big Tech’s hold over social media, its ties to major social media platforms will be concerning to free speech advocates concerned about the abuse of content moderation rules. Isabelle Wright, another member of the council, is the former Global Election Integrity Policy Lead at TikTok, a platform that has been criticized for sharing user data with its CCP-affiliated parent company.
For its part, Issue One claimed that the work of the council is essential to preserving democracy.
“For a decade, Issue One has been a leading voice in the effort to build a democracy that works for everyone,” read a blurb on the organization’s website for the council “We have defended our elections against disinformation and disruption, advanced a modern and effective legislative branch, and built broad coalitions to strengthen democracy in the face of rising polarization. In each of these efforts, we have found ourselves pushing back against the destructive influence of social media on our democracy.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing an equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.