Joe Biden under fire for ‘dystopian’ disinformation bureau

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Joe Biden under fire for 'dystopian' disinformation bureau

Oh, (Big) Brother!

President Biden came under fire Thursday for the creation of a “dystopian” disinformation bureau created under his Homeland Security department, which critics are blasting as just a way for the government to police free speech online.

Conservatives slammed the Department of Homeland Security’s Orwellian new “Disinformation Governance Board” – with some suggesting the timing is convenient given Elon Musk vowed to make Twitter a free speech haven after his $44 billion takeover of the social media platform notorious for selectively censoring right-leaning points of view.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley called the new board a “disgrace” that was designed to “monitor all Americans’ speech.”

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Hawley said he initially thought Wednesday’s announcement was “satire.”

“Surely, no American administration would ever use the power of government to sit in judgement on the First Amendment speech of its own citizens. Sadly, I was mistaken,” Hawley wrote.

“Rather than protecting our border or the American homeland, you have chosen to make policing Americans’ speech your priority.”

Nina Jankowicz
Biden selected Nina Jankowicz to lead the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board.
wiczipedia/Twitter

Florida Republican Congressional candidate, Dr. Willie J. Montague, tweeted: “Is there anything more dystopian than a Disinformation Governance Board run by the federal government?”

And Texas GOP Congressman Troy Nehls griped: “They didn’t need a ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ until @elonmusk threatened their control over the narrative.”

Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert accused Democrats of spending “the last weeks planting the seeds for the back-up plan in case the Twitter deal actually happened.”

She, too, called the news “dystopian” and said the left “can’t afford to let the truth be anything but what they say.”

The hashtag “Ministry of Truth” was also trending on Twitter as critics compared the new board to George Orwell’s “1984” novel.

“Adolf Hitler had a Ministry of Truth. Joseph Goebbels had a Ministry of Truth. Joseph Stalin had a Ministry of Truth. Joseph Biden has a Ministry of Truth,” tweeted Errol Webber, GOP congressional candidate in California.

Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde added: “Biden’s dystopian Disinformation Governance Board is seriously dangerous and wholly unconstitutional. I’m demanding Congress investigate DHS’ Ministry of Truth — NOW.”

The newly formed panel will target supposed misinformation aimed at key points of vulnerability for Biden and Democrats such as southern border migrants, as well as monitor and prepare for Russian disinformation threats as this year’s midterm elections near, the DHS said.

“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.

DHS said that the board will “protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties” as part of its duties.

Photo of Nina Jankowicz with text saying "Big sister is watching you."
Conservatives are calling the creation of the Disinformation Governance Board a “disgrace.”
NY Post illustration

The board will be led by Nina Jankowicz – a disinformation expert who has been criticized for repeatedly casting doubt on The Post’s reporting about Hunter Biden’s laptop.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she didn’t have details on the board’s role, or its executive director, during her Thursday press briefing, but said President Biden supported the effort.

“We know that there has been a range of disinformation out there about a range of topics — I mean, including COVID, for example, and also elections and eligibility,” Psaki said. “But I will check and see if there’s more specifics.”

The backlash over the creation of the board came as the Biden administration also unveiled an international “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” with 50 other countries on Thursday that endorsed efforts to also curb online “disinformation” and “harassment.”

The document outlines ideas for “reclaiming the promise of the Internet” and US officials described it as an effort to counter the practices of countries including China and Russia.

It notably doesn’t mention domestic US struggles over internet freedom, such as politically motivated censorship of news stories by private companies and alleged illegal government mass surveillance.

President Joe Biden
The creation of the team comes amid Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
Andrew Harnik/AP

The term disinformation has been used to censor content that later gains broad acceptance — such as The Post’s reporting on documents from Hunter Biden’s laptop, which Twitter blocked and Facebook throttled, and speculation that COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese lab, which Facebook banned before US intelligence agencies later found the scenario one of two “plausible” pandemic origin theories.

The vague document doesn’t describe a specific remedy for disinformation, but does call for governments to “[f]oster greater exposure to diverse cultural and multilingual content, information, and news online.”

“Exposure to diverse content online should contribute to pluralistic public discourse, foster greater social and digital inclusion within society, bolster resilience to disinformation and misinformation, and increase participation in democratic processes,” the document read.

The new document is signed by many US allies, including the governments of France, Israel, Japan and the UK, but the list doesn’t include many of the largest but relatively poor democracies, such as Brazil, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines.

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