The most dangerous "disinformation" is the kind that could come from government

The Biden Administration is interested in creating a “Disinformation Bureau’’ in the U.S. government’s Homeland Security department to push back publicly against news and opinions that the administration does not believe are true or agree with.

Whether or not the Biden Administration can be, or would be, any more fair than privately-owned media outlets, is highly questionable and should be viewed as an attack on freedom of speech.

Growing the government in the name of seeking to protect U.S. citizens from “disinformation’’ should scare every American citizen who values the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and the free speech that it guarantees.

The timing for this announcement from the Biden Administration coincides with Elon Musk’s planned purchase of the Twitter social media platform for $44 billion and his subsequent pledge to promote free speech on Twitter.

Twitter executives previously were known to selectively, and openly, censor any right-leaning points of view, saying that private companies are not held to the same fairness standard as government agencies.

The idea that the U.S. government now thinks it has the authority to monitor all Americans’ speech illustrates just how much the country has been changing since President Trump left office. This move by the Biden Administration is not something that the Trump Administration would have even considered and the Democrat-owned news media would have tried to impeach Trump ove it.

The hashtag “Ministry of Truth” has 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.

The newly formed panel reportedly 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, it has been reported by DHS officials.

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

The board will be led by Nina Jankowicz – a disinformation expert who has been criticized for repeatedly casting doubt on The New York 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 press briefing recently, 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 Biden administration has also recently unveiled an international “Declaration For The Future Of The Internet” with 50 other countries that endorses  efforts to curb online “disinformation” and “harassment.”

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

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

It’s the job of American journalists to question government actions. This action by the government to curb so-called “disinformation’’ does not pass the bad smell test and should be stopped.

The real disinformation we need to worry about is that which is government-produced, in my view, regardless of whether a Republican or a Democrat is president. 

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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