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Washington Post “internet culture” reporter Taylor Lorenz offered a sympathetic portrait of Nina Jankowicz on Wednesday while reporting that the Department of Homeland Security has decided to “suspend” its so-called “Disinformation Governance Council.” .
Last month, the Biden administration raised eyebrows with the deployment of its new DHS division aimed at combating misinformation, which critics have likened to George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth.” But Jankowicz’s appointment as executive director of the board was largely rejected after it was revealed that she herself had a long history of peddling false information, including claiming that the laptop Hunter Biden was a “product of the Trump campaign”, and many unflattering videos surfaced like his infamous “Mary Parody of Poppins.
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However, while revealing that Jankowicz’s work was sidelined, the Post went with the headline, “How the Biden administration let right-wing attacks derail its misinformation efforts,” claiming that Jankowicz “was victimized. coordinated online attacks”.
Lorenz introduced Jankowicz as a “well-known figure in the field of countering disinformation and extremism”, but complained that her appointment “has been thrust into the spotlight by the very forces she has dedicated her life to. career to fight”.
“The council itself and the DHS have been criticized both for its somewhat ominous name and for the lack of details of its specific mission…but Jankowicz has been the target of the harshest attacks, his role being misinterpreted as she has become a prime target on the right-wing internet,” Lorenz wrote on Wednesday. “She has been the subject of a relentless barrage of harassment and abuse as the unchecked misrepresentations of her work continue to go viral.”
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Lorenz claimed the board was “on hiatus,” a decision DHS made on Monday according to several DHS employees, and that Jankowicz “wrote a letter of resignation in response to the board disbanding.”
“But on Tuesday night, Jankowicz was drawn into an urgent appeal with DHS officials who gave him the choice to stay, even though the department’s work was put on hold due to the backlash he faced, according to multiple people at the current of the call,” Lorenz wrote. “Task forces within DHS focused on misinformation, misinformation and misinformation have been suspended. Council could still be closed pending review by Homeland Security Advisory Council; Jankowicz is assessing his position within the department .”
The left-leaning reporter failed to acknowledge Jankowicz’s checkered past of spreading lies, singling out her critics and blaming DHS for letting her down.
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“The Jankowicz experiment is a great example of how the right-wing internet apparatus works, where far-right influencers try to identify a target, present a narrative, and then repeat characterization errors on social media and social networks. websites with the aim of discrediting and attacking anyone who seeks to challenge them. It also shows what happens when institutions, when faced with these attacks, do not respond effectively,” Lorenz wrote. “Those who know the inner workings of the board, including DHS employees and Capitol Hill staffers, as well as misinformation experts, say Jankowicz was set up to fail by an administration that was not sure of her messages and was unprepared to counter a coordinated online campaign against her. “
Lorenz attempted to dismiss the “1984” comparisons, insisting that neither Jankowicz nor the council “had the power or ability to declare what is true or false, or to compel internet service providers , social media platforms or public schools to take action against certain types of speech. In fact, the board itself had no power or authority to make operational decisions.”
She went on to allege that Jankowicz was the subject of a “right-wing misinformation and smear campaign” and that “harassment and reputational damage are central to the attack strategy.” She claimed that such coordinated campaigns “invariably begin with identifying a person to characterize as a villain. Attacking faceless institutions is difficult, so a figurehead (almost always a woman or person of color) happens to serve him.” of face”.
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Lorenz’s report was lambasted on social media as an overdone sugar coating for what critics called a deeply flawed program with a problematic appointee at the top.
Lorenz has repeatedly spoken about being bullied online, even appearing in an MSNBC interview last month where she said “the worst people on the internet” were trying to destroy her life. She recently came under fire for her report dominating the woman behind the popular Libs of TikTok Twitter account.
Fox News contacted the Biden administration but did not independently verify the DHS decision to suspend the disinformation committee.