Government Launches 'Disinformation Governance Board,' Irking Conservatives

Headline Roundup April 29th, 2022

Is the government's new Disinformation Governance Board necessary to combat fake news, or is it a threat to free speech?

During a House of Representatives hearing Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) head Alejandro Mayorkas announced "a just recently constituted misinformation/disinformation governance board." The board will be led by Nina Jankowicz, a misinformation researcher and strategic advisor, and will focus on countering misinformation about homeland security, especially on migration and Russia. DHS said in a statement that the board will "protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties." Several Republican lawmakers criticized the move as government overreach; few Democratic lawmakers offered reactions.

Coverage was much more frequent from right-rated sources, which often criticized the idea of the government controlling speech. National Review writer David Harsanyi (Right bias) criticized the idea of creating a government panel "to start dictating the veracity of what we read and hear"; Harsanyi and others on the right called the board part of Biden's "ministry of truth." Many also highlighted how Jankowicz previously suggested without evidence that the Hunter Biden laptop story could be part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Coverage from left- and center-rated sources covered the news less prominently and tended to frame the board as a well-intentioned effort to combat misleading information. One analysis from Daily Beast (Left bias) highlighted "rage" from Fox News (Right bias) and other right-rated sources in response to the news.

From the Right

Guess it takes one to know one?

President Biden’s pick to lead his Department of Homeland Security’s Big Brother-like Disinformation Governance Board has her own history of posting disinformation online.

Nina Jankowicz, who was a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center, has repeatedly cast doubt on The Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden’s laptop.

During a series of live tweets during the presidential debate between Biden and Donald Trump in October 2020, Jankowicz had referenced the laptop.

“Back on the ‘laptop from hell,’ apparently—Biden notes 50 former natsec officials and 5 former...

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From the Center

The Department of Homeland Security is stepping up an effort to counter disinformation coming from Russia as well as misleading information that human smugglers circulate to target migrants hoping to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The spread of disinformation can affect border security, Americans’ safety during disasters, and public trust in our democratic institutions,” the department said in a statement Wednesday. It declined The Associated Press’ request for an interview.

A newly formed Disinformation Governance Board announced Wednesday will immediately begin focusing on misinformation aimed at migrants, a problem that has helped...

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From the Left

A new board at the Department of Homeland Security will focus on countering misinformation and disinformation, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told lawmakers today, with Wilson Center fellow Nina Jankowicz separately confirming that she would be executive director of the board.

During a hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to discuss the president’s fiscal year 2023 budget request, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ohio) stated that disinformation is a “huge threat to our homeland” and said Mayorkas has “noted that it’s a concern of yours at the border with...

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