Thursday, May 19, 2022

Really..Disinformation Board "On Hold'

The Biden administration has “paused” its controversial plans to create a Disinformation Board, causing its would-be leader to resign, reports The NY Post. 

In a statement Wednesday, Nina Jankowicz, the “disinformation expert” tapped to head the panel, said that “[w]ith the Board’s work paused and its future uncertain, and [sic] I have decided to leave DHS [the Department of Homeland Security] to return to my work in the public sphere.” Jankowicz’s departure and the decision to scrap the board was first reported by the Washington Post

The board had been the subject of weeks of backlash from Republicans, libertarians and even some liberals, who likened the scheme to the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s classic novel “1984.”

The Washington Post reported that DHS had decided to stop the board’s work on Monday and Jankowicz had drafted a resignation letter as of Tuesday morning. The outlet added that she had been given the option to stay on in a call with DHS officials Tuesday evening. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attempted to distance the West Wing from the disastrous initiative, insisting “we did not have involvement in this at all” when asked if top officials had ordered the halt.

Nina Jankowicz
The Biden administration had quietly announced the creation of the board last month, saying it was meant to fight the spread of “disinformation”  spread by agents of Russia, China and Iran that “can affect border security, Americans’ safety during disasters, and public trust in our democratic institutions.” Amid the backlash, DHS insisted that the board “does not have any operational authority or capability,” and was meant to preserve rather than limit free speech.

Critics likened the disinformation board, which was set to be led by Nina Jankowicz, to a “ministry of truth.”

However, Jankowicz’s idea of standing up for the First Amendment included letting “verified” Twitter users “edit” other users’ tweets if the blue-checked chosen think they’re misleading. 

Jankowicz also repeatedly tried to spread doubt about The Post’s own reporting about Hunter Biden’s notorious laptop, telling the Associated Press in October 2020 that it should be viewed as “a Trump campaign product.” In addition, Jankowicz pushed the since-debunked claim in 2016 that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump had a tie to Kremlin-linked Alfa-Bank, an allegation at the center of an ongoing trial of a Clinton campaign lawyer accused by special counsel John Durham of lying to the FBI. 

The misinformation maven was also ripped for a bizarre TikTok performance from February 2021 in which she altered the lyrics to the “Mary Poppins” song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” to be about fake news.

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