(by 21st Century Wire) – After getting roundly panned by critics on both the right and the left, Biden’s embattled Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, has been forced to announce that his agency is “pausing work” on the recently created and highly controversial Disinformation Governance Board, and will launch a subsequent review of the whole project. Also, the board’s unpopular executive director, Nina Jankowicz, also announced her ‘resignation’ on Wednesday, after being exposed spreading fake news and disinformation in the years prior to her appointment.
The Biden White House and DHS officials have expressed ‘disappointment’ following the firestorm of criticism prompted by the establishment of the problematic board dubbed, “The Ministry of Truth,” a new branch of the department tasked with policing speech and shutting down any narratives which contravene those disseminated by the US government and their mainstream media partners. It is also believed that this politicized agency would be used to pressure social media giants to censor and deplatform anyone placed on an arbitrary blacklist by the government or one its weaponize think tanks like Media Matters, ADL, SPLC, and other similar organizations and quangos claiming to be ‘fighting hate speech and far right disinformation’.
The Protocol reports…
The Department of Homeland Security has paused work on its recently announced Disinformation Governance Board, according to The Washington Post. The board’s director, Nina Jankowicz, has also resigned following an unrelenting stream of harassment. The Post first reported Jankowicz’s resignation, and Protocol has since confirmed it.
The board’s rollout was shoddy even by DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas’ own admission. From the outset, DHS revealed next to nothing about the board’s goals or its authorities, leading to concerns that this new entity might be surveilling social media and deciding what does and doesn’t constitute disinformation. Conservatives also quickly pounced on Jankowicz, accusing her of being a partisan hack. According to the Post, DHS forbid Jankowicz from saying anything publicly in her own defense.
In truth, the goal of the board, Mayorkas explained far too late, was to do the opposite of what it was being accused of. Throughout DHS, agencies are already working on ways to combat misinformation and disinformation. The purpose of the board was to coordinate those efforts and ensure that they weren’t crossing lines with regard to free speech and privacy.
But the decision to do that in a public way rather than in a private audit drew undue scrutiny to the effort. As one source familiar with DHS’ plans recently told Protocol, “Having a very large governance board and a really big, public rollout for it with a very well-known person in this space very publicly leading it, that probably drove their risk up a little more than it needed to.”
In a statement, DHS spokesperson Angelo Fernandez said the board has been “grossly and intentionally mischaracterized,” and confirmed that the Homeland Security Advisory Council is now leading a review of the board in hopes of answering two questions. “First, how can the Department most effectively and appropriately address disinformation that poses a threat to our country, while protecting free speech, civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy. Second, how can DHS achieve greater transparency across our disinformation-related work and increase trust with the public and other key stakeholders,” Fernandez said. Read Full Article >