White House wants to know when somebody is wrong on the Internet

If you forward an inaccurate email or write an inaccurate blog post, the White House wants to see it.

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care.  These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.  Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

What, exactly, does the White House plan to do with this information? 

UPDATE: The White House responds...

"There is a lot of misinformation about health insurance reform circulating on the Internet and elsewhere,'' she explains. "Some of it is intentionally misleading.

"We want to be sure people have the facts about health insurance reform that will lower costs, protect consumers from insurance regulations that deny them coverage and assure quality and affordable health care for all Americans,'' she adds. "We are not compiling lists or sources of information. We may post fact checks from time to time to be sure Americans know the truth about health insurance reform.''

I believe that is the case. This was simply an inartful way of asking people to help them figure out which new claims they need to be addressing.  The White House should respond to inaccurate arguments.  But I hope they will do so in a transparent way.  Instead of responding to private emails, they should be linking and responding to claims made publicly online.  Better yet, they should be participating in a dialogue - responding to the better criticisms made by important critics in the internet media and blogosphere. That would be transparent and valuable.

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As a bonus...

... they assumed bad faith on the part of their critics.

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there

I wonder if they confused disinformation and misinformation, or if their use was deliberate.  I'm thinking the latter.

Deliberate, I think

In a TV interview an hour or two ago, the White House rep specifically said "misinformation and disinformation".


I sent them an email:




Andrew deRenzy <andrew[at]thextremist.com>




Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 3:46 PM


misinformation about healthcare




hide details 3:46 PM (0 minutes ago)



Follow up message

I came across this site http://whitehouse.gov it's spreading a lot of misinformation about healthcare




Well done!!  I did the same thing.

If I detect anything FISHY

If I detect anything 'FISHY' I will send my snitch report to Rahm 'Dead Fish' Emanuel




Misinformation and disinformation

All the misinformation and disinformation I've seen is coming out of the White House!   As a matter of fact, I have yet to see either any honesty or transparency out of this corrupt, power-grabbing administration.  It's a Thugocracy! 


Whenever the administration puts out information that's untrue, it is quickly debunked by politifact.org, a no-holds-barred website that the administration has made no move to take down. The facts are out there and easily obtained, and honestly the information at whitehouse.gov is usually pretty close to true. Disagreeing with it doesn't make it wrong. You do realize this, right? They do err and they do spin to the center-left. It might technically be dishonest, but it's nothing that every administration doesn't do. You are unbelievably naïve if you think otherwise. Bush spun to the right, Colin Powell to the center-right, Cheney to the far right, Kucinich to the left, Marx to the extreme left. In order to understand it, you have to learn to read with that understanding. I can tell from your comments that anything you write will have to be read from the center-right (at least). I can do that; can you?

It's the reduction to a quick series of scary-sounding images that's the real travesty here. This whole thing is not some plot to . . . what? kill grandma? take over the world? turn the US into the USSR ca. 1960? It's unclear what your fears are.

What real progressives want is Medicare for every American, a far cry from socialized medicine, and something which even the current administration seems unwilling to fight for (so don't get all bent out of shape). But, I ask you, who the heck wouldn't want the option of joining Medicare? Do you see many seniors decrying the villainy of that program?

So, it's unclear what your issue is. Perhaps you can clarify?


I will argue that this is the most transparent Administration everwe can all see right through their lies and thug tactics trying to move us toward a tyranical government.

Yeah, man, what a scandal

They have a history of setting up websites to debunk what they see as disinformation ie. Fight the Smears, there's a video of them doing so embedded in the post you're linking and you quoted the part where they explicitly ask for help tracking the propaganda. You're right, I have no clue what they could possibly be up to.

Seriously, this is the best you got? Out of all the sites that came up when I was looking for a reasonable conservative take on this, I clicked over here 'cause I'd heard you guys were a little more above-the-fray. Clearly I was misinformed. Guess I'll stick with Larison.



It seems odd to me that they would request people forward the specific, and personally identifying, links and emails.


Assume, for the moment, good faith. "We don't think people are telling the truth -- tell us what they're saying so we can respond."

How would you phrase that apparently reasonable request to short-circuit the privacy concerns you raise?

"Paste into an email their words, carefully stripping out identifying headers or metadata if their concerns were included in an attachment. Under no circumstances directly forward us their email."

Doesn't really flow to me. And seriously, what do you propose they could DO with those if they had them? I can't see what you're getting at aside from some mustache-twirling "isn't it iiiinteresting". No, I don't think it is.

They're trying to trace the origin of the alleged disinformation

It's quite simple. The Freemasons are behind it. The Freemasons have placed coded symbols in the street map of Washington DC to send a message to both Perfidious Albion and shape-changing extraterrestrial lizards to form a cartel of health-insurance companies. They are currently sending out additional instructions from the EIB building (which looks exactly like the monolith in 2001).

WOOF: Witness "Operation Overload" of Flag@whitehouse.gov .....

WOOF:  Witness "Operation Overload" of Flag@whitehouse.gov ....................

in response to the "White House's Call for 'Informants' as isssued on 08/04/09" (see further below), my best suggestion is that we OVERLOAD the inbox of "flag@whitehouse.gov" so that it is rendered IMPOTENT. -- Let us each pick a statement DIRECTLY FROM HR 3200 - "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009," and direct others to "inform on us" for pointing out the FACT.............

ESSENTIALLY:  Choose a point from the OVERVIEW (see RESOURCES below), cross-reference with actual HR 3200 Text (see RESOURCES below), disclose the point, request to be reported for doing so. 

SPECIFICALLY:  Person A discloses a fact about HR 3200 VERBATIM (and they may include their comments/concerns, if desired) to person B, adding "please inform flag@whitehouse.gov that I have reported this."  Person B reciprocates.  As this process expands among many people, the incoming email volume will saturate flag@whitehouse.gov with UNDENIABLE INFORMATION not "disinformation" or circulating "rumors".


mjcoppi@cs.com writes to kmcoppi@cs.com:  I am alarmed that if HR 3200 were to pass, the government would have direct access to debit my bank accounts for electronic funds transfer to extract any medical bills (co-payments) that may be due, since stated in the text it says:Sec. 163, Pg. 59, Lines 21-24 - ‘‘...enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance..."

Not that I default on bills,  just that I must schedule debits (payments) per credits (income) lest my account be depleted by an ill-timed deduction.

Please inform flag@whitehouse.gov that I have reported this.

kmcoppi@cs.com writes to mjcoppi@cs.com:  I am alarmed that if HR 3200 were to pass, the government (with funding from taxpayers) would be granted authority to mandate contraception, abortion and/or sterilization, since stated in the text it says:Sec. 1713, Pg. 768, Lines 3-5 -  ‘‘...Improving maternal or child health and pregnancy outcomes or increasing birth intervals between pregnancies..."

To me, this speaks of imposing limits on family size - population control under the guise of health care. Please inform flag@whitehouse.gov that I have reported this.



Liberty Counsel's (www.LC.org) overview of the healthcare bill (HR 3200). ...............html version........http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=19319Or.........................................http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2009/07/whats-in-healthacre-bill.html

Text of HR 3200 - directly from a government website ..............http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3200ih.txt.pdf 

Also at:Text of H.R.3200 as Introduced in House: America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 .....  http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/text


"White House's Call for 'Informants' Draws Conservatives' Ire"Posted: 08/04/09

Conservative bloggers and opinion leaders Tuesday expressed outrage over the White House's call for informants to notify it of "disinformation" regarding the health care debate.From the White House Web site:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end-of-life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain e-mails or through casual conversation. Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an e-mail or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov."


On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said,

"Well, I would hate to see what they're going to get now at flag@whitehouse.gov . I wonder what kind of e-mails they're going to get now. They're looking for tattletales; they're looking for snitches; they're looking for informants; they want their groupies to tattle on you if you happen to be telling the truth about what's in the health care plan.The White House has, as yet, offered no explanation of what it is they plan to do with the tips on policy opposition they hope to receive from citizen informers. Jake Tapper pointed out on Twitter this morning, the title of that post on the White House is a quote from John Adams' 1770 'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials.'"

Over at RedState, Jeff Emanuel wrote,

"The term 'disinformation' is used by the Obama White House as a catchall to describe any opposition to the president's push for single-payer, government-run health care -- meaning the White House wants to be informed of any forwarded e-mails or blog posts or any "casual conversations" that could be taken as opposition to their health care overhaul plan."

And TheNextRight's Jon Henke asks: "What, exactly, does the White House plan to do with this information?" The complaints came on the same day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi charged that demonstrations against health care reform during congressional town hall meetings are organized by the insurance industry and conservative groups. White House officials are anxious to aggressively rebut what they see as disinformation. At the same time, they should be cognizant that the use of governmental resources to do so risks making them look heavy-handed or even Nixon-esque (will this lead to an enemies list?) One wonders how many of my posts have already been e-mailed to the good folks at whitehouse.gov. Perhaps we can add an app for that at the bottom of my posts? "Click here to inform on me. . ."




Perhaps the ultimate solution to this and other matters would be to ensure that: