Here’s a roundup of the most viral, but untrue visuals and stories of the week. Despite being shared on social media, none of these stories are true. They were checked by the Associated Press. These are the facts:
DNC’s anti-misinformation push does not involve reading private text
CLAIM: In an effort to combat anti-vaccine texts, the Democratic National Committee and the Biden Administration are collaborating to monitor SMS communications between private citizens.
FACTS: According to Lucas Acosta (a senior spokesperson for DNC), the DNC does not have the ability to read or access private messages of people and is not working with any government agency (including White House) to view personal messages. Social media users and conservative lawmakers made the false claim this week that the DNC, along with other Biden allies, planned to spy on individual text messages to dispel vaccine misinformation. Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley tweeted, “So now that the Biden Administration wants in people’s texts… to force vaccination compliance and who knows what else.” Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar also tweeted the false claim. He said, “So now the Biden Administration wants to get into people’s text messages… to force vaccine compliance and who knows what else.” Korecki responded to a question Monday about whether government officials would read personal texts. “Outside groups are attempting flag to SMS carriers false info campaigns that are driving misinformation about vaccines.” Acosta clarified to The Associated Press that neither the DNC infiltrating personal text messages nor working with mobile carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile to dispel misinformation. Acosta explained that the DNC simply notifies SMS aggregators like Twilio or Bandwidth when it suspects that a political mass message is fraudulent or in violation of the company’s messaging policy. “The only texts that were reviewed were those sent en masse through broadcast text platforms to American citizens and reported to DNC.” The White House declined comment.