WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The Biden administration’s recently-announced Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) will not be moving forward following a torrent of public scrutiny over the board’s potential ramifications for free speech.
Operating under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the DGB was to be tasked with countering so-called “misinformation” on topics relating to homeland security, including migration and Russia.
While the Biden administration insisted the board would have no “operational authority or capability” and was “deeply committed to doing all of its work in a way that protects Americans’ freedom of speech, civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy,” many doubted these assurances for various reasons, not least of which being the selection of Nina Jankowicz, who has said she “shudder[s] to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms,” as the board’s executive director.
Now, the Washington Post reports that the board is being “paused,” with a final decision on its fate to follow a review by the Homeland Security Advisory Council. Jankowicz reportedly prepared to offer her resignation, but was offered the opportunity to stay on with DHS, and is said to be currently weighing her options.
“Nina Jankowicz has been subjected to unjustified and vile personal attacks and physical threats,” a spokesperson for the department claimed to the Post. “In congressional hearings and in media interviews, the Secretary has repeatedly defended her as eminently qualified and underscored the importance of the Department’s disinformation work, and he will continue to do so.”
But the New York Post notes that Jankowicz’s own words indicate controversial claims and ideas about speech and disinformation, from falsely claiming the 2020 discovery of a laptop belonging to troubled presidential son Hunter Biden was a “Trump campaign product,” to suggesting that Twitter users “verified” by the platform (a function meant simply to confirm the identity of accounts belonging to public figures) should be able to edit other users’ tweets to add “context.”
The Disinformation Governance Board was the subject of significant criticism, from tech mogul Elon Musk calling it “messed up” to LifeSite’s own Jonathon Van Maren arguing that the assessment of “disinformation” should not be entrusted to an administration that “tells us a man is a woman.” Even establishmentarian Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) called the board an “awful idea,” telling DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas he “ought to disband it.”