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May 18, 2022

"Disinformation Governance Board" On "Pause" Due to Backlash

The right wing alternately seized, pounced on Nina Jankowicz's highly partisan, lunatic statements, laments Taylor Lorenz.

In naming the 33-year-old Jankowicz to run the newly created board, the administration chose someone with extensive experience in field of disinformation, which has emerged as an urgent and important issue. The author of the books "How to Be a Woman Online" and "How to Lose the Information War," her career also featured stints at multiple nonpartisan think tanks and nonprofits and included work that focused on strengthening democratic institutions. Within the small community of disinformation researchers, her work was well-regarded.

LOL. Within the small community of bitter leftwingers paid to campaign for censorship, her "work" was well-regarded.

But within hours of news of her appointment, Jankowicz was thrust into the spotlight by the very forces she dedicated her career to combating. The board itself and DHS received criticism for both its somewhat ominous name and scant details of specific mission (Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said it "could have done a better job of communicating what it is and what it isn't"), but Jankowicz was on the receiving end of the harshest attacks, with her role mischaracterized as she became a primary target on the right-wing Internet. She has been subject to an unrelenting barrage of harassment and abuse while unchecked misrepresentations of her work continue to go viral.

By "harassment and abuse," Lorenz means that the people who Jankowicz intended to censor in the future looked at her previous statements to evaluate her judgment and even-handedness, and found her to be a crazed ideologue.

And it's not fair to look at the past internet statements of someone who is going to be deciding if everyone else's internet statements are legal.

That Taylor Lorenz, whose entire career is made up of dredging up people's old internet statements and exposing them to cancel them, should be whining about this is preposterous.

In addition, here we have an example where past statements are perfectly legitimate -- Jankowicz is no mere private citizen. She's not the sort of minor tween TikToker Lorenz typically exposes.

Jankowicz was appointed to head the government's Ministry of Truth. Her past conduct and her past claims about what was truth and what was "disinformation" are of course completely relevant to judging her fitness to decide on truth vs. "disinformation" in the future.

Now, just three weeks after its announcement, the Disinformation Governance Board is being "paused," according to multiple employees at DHS, capping a back-and-forth week of decisions that changed during the course of reporting of this story. On Monday, DHS decided to shut down the board, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation. By Tuesday morning, Jankowicz had drafted a resignation letter in response to the board's dissolution.

Plot twist: SJW with no appreciable skills doesn't want to lose her phoney-baloney job.

But Tuesday night, Jankowicz was pulled into an urgent call with DHS officials who gave her the choice to stay on, even as the department's work was put on hold because of the backlash it faced, according to multiple people with knowledge of the call. Working groups within DHS focused on mis-, dis- and mal-information have been suspended. The board could still be shut down pending a review from the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Jankowicz is evaluating her position within the department.

"Nina Jankowicz has been subjected to unjustified and vile personal attacks and physical threats," a DHS spokesperson told The Post in a statement. "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."

Jankowicz has not spoken publicly about her position since the day it was announced.


Jankowicz's experience is a prime example of how the right-wing Internet apparatus operates, where far-right influencers attempt to identify a target, present a narrative and then repeat mischaracterizations across social media and websites with the aim of discrediting and attacking anyone who seeks to challenge them. It also shows what happens when institutions, when confronted with these attacks, don't respond effectively.

Those familiar with the board's inner workings, including DHS employees and Capitol Hill staffers, along with experts on disinformation, say Jankowicz was set up to fail by an administration that was unsure of its messaging and unprepared to counteract a coordinated online campaign against her.

A disastrous rollout
Just hours after Jankowicz tweeted about her new job, far-right influencer Jack Posobiec posted tweets accusing the Biden administration of creating a "Ministry of Truth." Posobiec's 1.7 million followers quickly sprung into action. By the end of the day, there were at least 53,235 posts on Twitter mentioning "Disinformation Governance Board," many referencing Jankowicz by name, according to a report by Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that conducts public-interest research. In the days following, that number skyrocketed.


The board was created to study best practices in combating the harmful effects of disinformation and to help DHS counter viral lies and propaganda that could threaten domestic security. Unlike the "Ministry of Truth" in George Orwell's "1984" that became a derogatory comparison point, neither the board nor Jankowicz had any power or ability to declare what is true or false, or compel Internet providers, social media platforms or public schools to take action against certain types of speech. In fact, the board itself had no power or authority to make any operational decisions.

This is a lie. The board would decide "best practices" for detecting, punishing, and removing "disinformation," which would be passed on to the tech monopolies, who would of course execute the government's demands.

That's how they've been working their censorship game for years now.



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posted by Ace at 12:15 PM

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