Author and ‘Disinformation Fellow,’ Nina Jankowicz, was chosen to lead the DGB upon proposal. But leaked documents have exposed US ‘Ministry of Truth’ for what it actually was.
According to leaked documents received by opposition legislators, the US government sought to utilize its now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) to force social media firms to erase content it designated inaccurate.
Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) mentioned the whistleblower documents in a public letter (read below) to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas published on Wednesday, in which they demanded more information about the contentious DGB.
In a news announcement, the senators stated the department “planned to coordinate efforts to leverage ties with social media platforms to enable the removal of user content,” and that it hoped to use Big Tech platforms to “enforce its agenda.”
The board was first proposed in April, but it was swiftly halted due to widespread public outcry, with many comparing it to a state-run “Ministry of Truth.” The lawmakers expressed “serious concerns” about the plan as a result of the disclosed materials.
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“The DGB was established to serve as much more than a simple ‘working group’ to ‘develop guidelines, standards, [and] guardrails’ for protecting civil rights and civil liberties,” they wrote. “In fact, DHS documents show that the DGB was designed to be the Department’s central hub, clearinghouse and gatekeeper for Administration policy and response to whatever it happened to decide was ‘disinformation.’”
Grassley and Hawley stated that the Biden administration had not provided a precise description of “disinformation,” and that the DHS panel, amid pledges that it would stay nonpolitical, had displayed substantial prejudice even in its early phases.
They singled out author and ‘Disinformation Fellow’ Nina Jankowicz, who was chosen to lead the DGB, as “a known trafficker of foreign disinformation and liberal conspiracy theories,” according to them.
The senators stated that Jankowicz was selected primarily because of “her relationship with executives at Twitter,” and that leaked documents suggest the White House wanted to “operationalize” relationships with social media giants to “implement its public policy goals.”
A senior DHS officer, Robert Silvers, was set to meet with Twitter officials to discuss the misinformation board, according to draft briefing notes produced in late April, but it is uncertain whether the meeting ever actually occurred.
Mayorkas was pressed by the two senators to reveal additional details about the DGB’s intentions, including if the agency had ordered social media companies to “censor, flag, add context to, or remove” user posts or ban accounts. They also demanded papers and emails pertaining to Jankowicz, as well as the government’s definition of actionable disinformation, claiming that the government should “identify who exactly is ultimately responsible for making this determination.”
Read the document below: