Trump administration to crack down on ‘fake news’
Donald Trump’s administration will soon take aim at what he called “fake news” on social media, and will be able to ban “fake content,” according to the White House.
“President Trump’s White House is planning to begin rolling out measures that will help the president enforce the law and to curb fake news on social networks and other platforms,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Tuesday.
Sanders said the measures were aimed at “protecting Americans from false, misleading, or false claims and disinformation.”
She declined to say which platforms were targeted.
The administration also plans to launch a public-service campaign, according to a White House document obtained by BuzzFeed News, to “provide a voice to the American people on issues of importance to them, and to help educate them on what information is real and what is not.”
A White House official confirmed that the Trump administration would use a public service announcement to outline the measures.
The announcement is not expected to go out publicly until later this month, and Sanders did not provide any details about how the announcements would be made public.
BuzzFeed News reached out to several social media platforms and the Trump campaign for comment.
Sanders did, however, confirm that the measures would not apply to news outlets that have a “zero tolerance” policy toward “false, misleading or false content.”
“As a consequence, our administration will not impose such a blanket ban on content,” Sanders said.
“However, we will work with platforms to create a list of content that is not acceptable and to share that list with the public.”
Sanders did say that the White Congress was “reviewing how best to proceed with new policy on social platforms.”
A Trump administration official said the goal is to “get rid of fake news,” and that the administration would work with “top political leaders to build on existing tools that have been in place.”
A number of tech giants, including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, have also taken steps to crackdown on the proliferation of fake content on their platforms.
“The president has said he is looking to eliminate fake news and other harmful content,” Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that “fake media is bad for our democracy, and we will fight to protect it.”
Snapchat also announced Tuesday that it would create a task force to work on ways to fight “fake information.”
The White House has not issued any new guidance on how to crack the fake news problem.
BuzzFeed’s sources said that the efforts would focus on “a new ‘fake-news reporting’ task force” and the use of “a tool to identify false, inaccurate, or deceptive news and news stories.”
Sanders declined to provide details about the new task force, but the White Twitter Task Force was established in March.
BuzzFeed reporter Ben Jacobs contributed to this report.