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Biden's counter-disinformation advisor resigns after a few weeks on the job

World May 18, 2022 02:40PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The American flag is seen flying at half staff over the White House to honor the 1 million U.S. citizens killed by COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Washington, U.S., May 12, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The head of President Joe Biden's administration's disinformation-fighting advisory group has resigned, she told Reuters on Wednesday and the Department of Homeland Security said it had paused the group's activities.

Nina Jankowicz, who was named as executive director of the DHS's Disinformation Governance Board last month, said she was expecting a baby and "spending time with my family is first priority".

"In the fall, I plan to continue the work I've done throughout my career building awareness of disinformation in the public sphere, working on issues related to Russia’s war in Ukraine, and continuing my work related to women’s online expression."

The board's creation and Jankowicz's appointment to it provoked a fierce reaction from right-wing critics and drew skepticism from some experts in the field. 

Far right figures - many of whom have spread former President Donald Trump's lies about Biden stealing the 2020 election - accused the administration of setting up a "Ministry of Truth" in the vein of the totalitarian propaganda agency described in the novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four." Jankowicz herself became a particular focus of abuse.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement that the board was being "grossly and intentionally mischaracterized."

"It was never about censorship or policing speech in any manner. It was designed to ensure we fulfill our mission to protect the homeland, while protecting core Constitutional rights."

DHS said the board was intended to advise the government on how to fight lies spread by, for example, foreign countries such as Russia or China, or human traffickers using false assurances to lure migrants into crossing the border into the United States.

But the message was lost among the backlash from the right and DHS said it was pausing the board's activity pending a "thorough review."

The Washington Post first reported news of Jankowicz's resignation and a pause to the board's activity.

Although some experts had doubts about the appropriateness of a disinformation board operating out of DHS, they condemned the attacks on Jankowicz.

"I welcome the pausing of the 'Disinformation Governance Board' after just 3 weeks - I believe this was a major strategic error of the administration," said Emma Briant, a visiting research associate at Bard College in New York.

But she said on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) that it was "utterly abhorrent" that Jankowicz had been turned into a punching bag.

Biden's counter-disinformation advisor resigns after a few weeks on the job
 

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Comments (8)
gab nea
gab nea May 20, 2022 8:15AM ET
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is Fox news really anti America and pro russia? why does the government allow subversion like this? shouldn't they register as foreign agents?
gab nea
gab nea May 19, 2022 7:59AM ET
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why do we even need a disinformation advisor? oh I forgot, like putin, the Republicans regularly lie.
gab nea
gab nea May 19, 2022 7:59AM ET
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dont make me list all the lies.
Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen May 19, 2022 7:59AM ET
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Fed bot
filipe moreira
filipe moreira May 18, 2022 10:20PM ET
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Biden prefers Monica, but he can't do anything... so things can't get any nastier than that...
Count da Money
CountdaMoney May 18, 2022 3:35PM ET
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🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣💯🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣💩💩😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎🤣🤣
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour May 18, 2022 3:15PM ET
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So this 'highly intelligent person' President Biden put in charge of tracking down 'disinformation', suddenly realizes she is pregnant after only a few weeks on job. I admit to some confusion here. Admittedly I may not be highly intelligent, how could I discern this if I am not? So I am confused by the following. A- If she was trying to have a baby when she agreed to take the job knowing she would quit if she did, is that non-highly intelligent thinking or I just don't care if I hurt you if I do get pregnant and quit?B-If she was't trying to get pregnant when agreeing to take the job, is it possible she doesn't know about birth control? How highly intelligent can that be?C-If she was pregnant before she took the job and didn't know it I refer to A and B above? D- If she was pregnant before taking the job and knew it, well that brings up a whole host of questions related to 'highly intelligent' thinking.
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour May 18, 2022 3:15PM ET
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How highly intelligent can President Biden and his advisors be for having chosen this person in the first place? Maybe, just maybe, they can't tell if they are 'highly intelligent' either. If not, why are they running our government?
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA May 18, 2022 3:15PM ET
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Triggered snowflake spam rant lawl
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour May 18, 2022 3:15PM ET
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This is a bot
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour May 18, 2022 3:15PM ET
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Benjamin USA THAT US
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour May 18, 2022 3:15PM ET
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*Is
Alberto Vazquez
Alberto Vazquez May 18, 2022 3:08PM ET
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Trump won. Stolen election, that is Not false information. Only in your leftist political view.
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA May 18, 2022 3:08PM ET
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Lmao what a snowflake cant accept reality. How did you get so mind cucked by trump
JJ GG
UpDownUpDown May 18, 2022 2:32PM ET
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If you think disinformation, hate manifestos, and propaganda are "healthy for democracy and freedom", look no further than the Third Reich and Stalin's mass ***to see. History doesn't repeat itself, it rhymes.
Joseph Armour
Joseph Armour May 18, 2022 2:32PM ET
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Not the same thing at all. In the first case it is forum through which anyone can express their opinion. True or false. In the second case it is exactly why the government can't be allowed to decide what the people can hear and see!!!!
Alan Rice
Alan Rice May 18, 2022 2:17PM ET
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(Impossible Task List ??)
 
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