Government’s Disinformation Governance Council reportedly suspended after wave of online criticism
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has “suspended” its Disinformation Governance Council, the Washington Post said in an article published Wednesday. The outlet blamed the decision online “right wing attacks” against its head named Nina Jankowicz, who confirmed her resignation from the government.
According to To postDHS decided to shut down the board on Monday and Jankowicz wrote her letter of resignation Tuesday morning, only to be dragged into a conference call Tuesday evening and offered to stay on in some capacity.
The Homeland Security Advisory Council is currently considering whether to shut down the council altogether, while DHS task forces “focused on disinformation, disinformation and misinformation have been suspended”, reported the Post.
After the article was published, Jankowicz confirmed his resignation in a statement issued through a spokesperson. “I have decided to leave DHS to return to my work in the public sphere,” she wrote, noting that the council’s work has been “paused and its future uncertain.”
“It is deeply disappointing that the Board’s misinterpretations have become a distraction from the Department’s vital work, and indeed, together with recent events globally and nationally, epitomize why it is needed,” Jankowicz added.
DHS has not officially commented on the council’s status. A statement given to the Post said only that “Jankowicz was the victim of unwarranted and despicable personal attacks and physical threats.
Much of the story, written by controversial columnist Taylor Lorenz, focuses on what she calls “coordinated online attacks” against Jankowicz, who she said were led by “far-right influencer” Jack Posobiec, the editor of Human Events.
Jankowicz announced the establishment of the board and his role in it on April 27. It didn’t take long for critics to bring up his own online history of Democratic activism and involvement in “Russiagate” to efforts to censor the – true – New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop as a fake “Operation of Russian influence.”
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, however, defended Jankowicz as “highly qualified” and one “recognized expert in the field of disinformation”, adding that he did not question his objectivity.
Jankowicz, 33, has previously worked for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — the Post uses a 2019 photo taken at his campaign headquarters as the cover story — as well as the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and the US National Democratic Institute, where she ruled Russia. and programs from Belarus.
The purpose of the council was “grossly misinterpreted” a department spokesperson told the Post, adding that it was not intended for police speech. “On the contrary, its objective is to guarantee the protection of freedom of expression.”
On the other hand, anonymous DHS employees and members of Congress told Lorenz that Jankowicz was “set up to fail” by the Biden administration, which was “not sure about his voicemail” and “not prepared” to counter online criticism of him.