Politico Criticizes WhatsApp for Not Censoring Election Speech


Politico expressed disappointment that Big Tech’s censorship mechanisms haven’t been fully applied to election-related speech on WhatsApp Channels.

In a piece published on Friday, Politico’s tech policy reporter Rebecca Kern lamented that WhatsApp Channels, which lets users make public posts as well as engage in private chats, lacks specific policies against election disinformation. The article quoted “lawmakers, disinformation experts, and former Meta employees,” highlighting worries that this absence of regulation “could pose significant risks in a year with major elections around the world.”

WhatsApp, owned by Meta, operates alongside other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Threads. Politico described Meta’s other platforms as having “clear guardrails” against “election misinformation.” These guardrails include censoring content that Meta considers “likely to directly contribute to interference with political processes and certain highly deceptive manipulated media,” according to Meta’s policies.

This censored content has sometimes included factual information. Notably, with assistance from the FBI, Facebook limited the spread of the New York Post’s significant report on Hunter Biden’s laptop, categorizing it as “potentially misinformation.” The laptop and its contents were entirely accurate and have recently been used by federal prosecutors in Hunter Biden’s gun crime trial.

Politico argued that because the federal government isn’t doing enough to suppress protected speech, the responsibility falls to Big Tech companies. The outlet lamented, “With few misinformation laws in place, and no federal regulations in the U.S., users rely on social media platforms’ enforcement of their policies to shield them from election falsehoods.”

WhatsApp collaborates with over 50 “fact-checking” groups and informed Politico it “can remove content and revoke accounts that breach its community guidelines.” However, Politico feels this level of censorship is insufficient.

The outlet referenced Rep. Adam Schiff, known for promoting the Russia collusion narrative, to advocate for WhatsApp Channels to censor so-called “election misinformation” — often information that challenges Democratic narratives — before the election, warning that without such measures, “democratic processes in the United States and across the globe” would be at risk. Likewise, Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the controversial Jan. 6 committee, told Politico he hopes Meta will establish and enforce rules against disfavored election speech to “protect democratic institutions, particularly the right to vote and confidence in election results” — because nothing instills “confidence in election results” like censoring discourse about them.

Brianna Lyman
Brianna Lyman
Elections correspondent. Weekly guest on Newsmax. Also seen on Fox Nation.

Latest stories


Related Articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!
Continue on app