Government representatives can submit a request to Facebook to have content removed

As per the reports, social media platforms like Facebook are working with the Department of Homeland Security to prevent online misinformation. 

The Disinformation Governance Board was established earlier this year with the purpose of “safeguarding the United States against threats” that were brought on by false information regarding national security, even though much of the DHS initiative to address disinformation is still unknown to the American public.

“The Department is deeply committed to doing all of its work in a way that protects Americans’ freedom of speech, civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy,” read DHS’s statement regarding the program, which stopped a few months after it announced the following backlash from critics.

These critics drew parallels to the Ministry of Truth that churned out propaganda in the novel “1984.”

The organization targeted information it believed to be “inaccurate” about “the causes of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice. Additionally, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of US support to Ukraine, were posted.

DHS’s definition of disinformation as “false information that is deliberately spread with the intent to deceive or mislead” is vague and vulnerable to interpretation, providing government agents with much latitude in labeling speech as false or hazardous.


Government can have control over Facebook posts

Following the 2020 election, DHS officials and representatives of CISA met monthly with representatives from digital companies, including Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, to discuss how the platforms will handle political misinformation, according to a news panel. Uncertainty continues on the specific steps taken by the private companies, but recent DHS reports show a greater emphasis on stopping online disinformation tactics.

According to The Intercept, DHS officials and law enforcement agents can directly report Facebook posts that they perceive to be subversive or suspicious. This can be done by using a site called the Content Request System.

The creation of the portal and the requirements for a post’s removal are unknown, but as per the reports, posts about COVID-19, the exit from Afghanistan, and the war in Ukraine were explicitly targeted.

Bipartisan criticism of Facebook’s collaboration with government agencies dates back to stories of sharing user data about people facing charges for getting an abortion in a state where it was illegal or responding to falsified legal demands with user data. 

In an interview with Joe Rogan, the platform’s owner Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the company worked with the FBI to bury information on Hunter Biden’s laptop. However, he said that the report “matched the pattern” of posts that the platform had been instructed to watch out for.