Did a Politico article suggest the Biden administration monitoring private text messages of Americans to combat vaccine "misinformation"? No, that's misleading. The Politico article stated that "Biden allied groups" are working with SMS carriers to distribute messages attempting to "dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages." The article did not state that the administration is monitoring private text messages, only that groups aligned with the Democratic president would be working to combat COVID-19 misinformation.
Is the Biden administration monitoring the private text messages of Americans to combat vaccine "misinformation?" A little-noticed report by Politico seems to suggest that they are.
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Jul 14 17:23:09 2021 UTC)
Shapiro shared a video of conservative host Matt Walsh, who posted a video with the chyron, "Biden Wants To Fact Check Your Texts."
Walsh reads several paragraphs directly from the Politico article that was titled, "'Potentially a death sentence': White House goes off on vaccine fearmongers," that was published on July 12, 2021.
This is the Politico paragraph that he focuses on that mentions text messages:
Biden allied groups, including the Democratic National Committee, are also planning to engage fact-checkers more aggressively and work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages. The goal is to ensure that people who may have difficulty getting a vaccination because of issues like transportation see those barriers lessened or removed entirely.
At 1:30 in the video, Walsh says:
It seems as though they're saying that the DNC is going to be colluding with fact checkers to monitor our private text messages. All in an effort to head off misinformation...If the DNC is checking in on your text messages, your emails, it's all for your own good.
So, I saw this report on Politico and then I was Googling to see if there were other headlines about this and there hasn't been anything. How is this not a big deal at least?
That's the report, that they're going to be monitoring our private text messages.
The Politico article did not say the Biden administration was "monitoring" personal or private text messages nor did it say the DNC was "checking in on your text messages." The article said there was going to be an effort to counter the spread of misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine via SMS carriers sending out messages that people presumably have signed up to receive. The article does not say the SMS carriers will be monitoring or intercepting private text messages.
As the story points out, it's allied, private groups that are working with SMS carriers - not the White House. Even then, there is no ability for groups to read individual texts aside from the ones they receive themselves https://t.co/GdIMJgizYh-- Natasha Korecki (@natashakorecki) July 12, 2021
No. Outside groups are attempting to flag to SMS carriers false information campaigns that are driving misinformation on vaccines. https://t.co/rLFttlyqeS-- Natasha Korecki (@natashakorecki) July 12, 2021