The new disinformation task force of the Biden administration may be more dangerous than it looks.
This was a beautiful and classic example of the cliche that Sunlight is the best disinfectant. The new venture was thwarted by a growing number of revelations and details after the Department of Homeland Security rolled out its disreputable Disinformation Governance Board, headed by Nina Jankowicz. The DGB died within weeks of CNN+’s, which had a similar lifespan.
Despite widespread opposition and public disapproval, the Biden administration decided to redouble its efforts at thought control. The White House Task Force to address Online Harassment, and Abuse is the plan to create a group to monitor and enforce social media platforms. This plan appears to be more dangerous than the previous one. Kamala Harris will head it this time. This is the only positive aspect of the announcement. Her history of incompetence, sloth, and neglect of past duties such as border enforcement means that this could also be doomed.
First, the announcement invokes the recent shootings at Uvalde and Buffalo. Most people should be aware of this as it evokes the same reaction to the recent gun violence. It is not uncommon for people to draw on tragic events to advance a liberty-threatening agenda. The difference is the amendment being targeted.
There is also the announced scope for this renewed attack on expression. This is no longer under the control of Alejandro Mayorkas, DHS. Biden also brought in members of the National Security Council including Attorney General Merrick Garland, Anthony Blinken, from the State Department, as well as Xavier Becerra, from HHS. Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General was also present at the announcement ceremony. Take a moment to absorb the full scope of this task force on thought crime.
Sloane Stephens was a professional tennis player who spoke out about being the victim of online abuse. This was a strange moment, as who among us hasn’t experienced online abuse? This is the star athlete complaining about something that we all experience. But, the celebrity is important. The White House announced that they would be focusing their energy on disinformation.
Online harassment and abuse of sexual nature are a major problem for women and LGBTQI+ politicians, public figures, journalists, and activists in the United States. This makes it difficult for them to exercise their human rights, and participate in democracy, governance, and civil life.
This is an excellent mission statement. The D.C. power brokers will head this task force to ensure that online abuse does not target celebrities, politicians, media figures, and other notables. We must protect the elitists from the rabble.
Remember, the DGB plot was unraveled when Jankowicz, who was among the oppressive intentions discovered, was found to have supported a plan for Twitter users to be verified and given the power to alter the tweets of others, based on their own standards. The new task force is equally ambitious in its goals. Murthy stated this at the press conference.
It is unacceptable for technology companies to release a product without taking responsibility for its impact on users and communities. It is unacceptable for social media platforms that are open to hatred.
The Jankowicz platform is still present in the reconstituted police force. Biden’s new task force refers to a Texas A & M government report as a reference point. It cites Jankowicz’s writings in the past.
Another reason to pause is the fact that Nina’s former boss Mayorkas was challenged at a Congressional hearing over the revelation that they misrepresented the DGB’s scope. As Mayorkas claimed that they were protecting free speech and internal memos revealed they were working with Twitter executives in order to silence any voices they considered dangerous or misleading.
Jankowicz was exposed to be a source of prominent misinformation. She was also shown to have discredited proven facts and supported disinformation stories like the Steele Dossier. This shows how this task force can drift into policing approved speech.
The media response to this attempt is another notable difference. Although the news was covered by many outlets, the media reaction has not been as strong as with the DGB. MSNBC raved about it, the AP considered it a legitimate enterprise, and Brian Stelter enthusiastically declared that the White House fight against disinformation “sounds common sense.”
The cheerleading has slowed down this time, almost as though the journalists knew that the journalists were exposing the plot behind the plan. This administration’s attempt to reopen the government must be kept under pressure. It is now more widespread than the previous disaster. They all seem to know what should be protected from the public to ensure it doesn’t go wrong. Already, this new plan shows signs that more light needs to be given to what is happening.