On Friday, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy had a truly bizarre reaction to a recent statement by White House press secretary Jen Psaki that about a dozen specific individuals have been found to be main spreaders of vaccine-related misinformation on social media. Doocy accused the Biden administration of “spying on people’s Facebook profiles,” which is a ludicrous misrepresentation of the facts at hand. As is the case with other social media platforms, much of what’s on Facebook is public. Suggesting that looking at public social media profiles constitutes “spying” is simply ridiculous. It’s so ridiculous that it’s embarrassing.
Doocy asked as follows:
‘For how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles, looking for vaccine misinformation?’
Psaki replied with the following:
‘Well, that was quite a loaded and inaccurate question… Well, Peter, first of all, as you know, we’re in regular touch with a range of media outlets as we are in regular touch with social media platforms. This is publicly open information, people sharing information online just as you are all reporting information on your news stations.’
As Psaki spoke, Doocy repeatedly interrupted. No amount of rhetorical gesticulation will, however, change the fact that looking at a public social media page does not constitute spying in any reasonable sense of the word. If Doocy is acting as though it’s a new realization that what’s publicly put on social media could be viewed by people other than those who the original posters had in mind, then where exactly has he been for the last ten years?
As Doocy continued to question Psaki about the finding that around a dozen people are responsible for the bulk of vaccine-related misinformation on social media, Psaki added as follows:
‘I’m happy to get you the citation of where that comes from. There’s no “secret list.” I will tell you that these are people who are sharing information on public platforms, on Facebook. Information that is travelling is inaccurate. Our biggest concern here, and I frankly think it should be your biggest concern, is the number of people who are dying around the country because they’re getting misinformation that is leading them to not take a vaccine. Young people, old people, kids, children — a lot of them are being impacted by misinformation.’
Subsequently, Doocy claimed that a “big concern” of people on Facebook is supervision from “big brother.” In response, Psaki aptly questioned the idea that such is a greater concern than people dying from COVID-19. Conservatives in line with Trump often maintain certainly odd lists of priorities. Watch Psaki’s Doocy take-down below:
"Our biggest concern here, and frankly I think it should be your biggest concern, is the number of people who are dying around the country because they're getting misinformation that is leading them to not take a vaccine" — Jen Psaki to Peter Doocy pic.twitter.com/xOj7j450dj
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 16, 2021