DHS Disinformation Board Paused After Leader Submits Resignation

DHS advisory council will make recommendations in 75 days.

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Wednesday that its controversial Disinformation Governance Board was paused just weeks after it was announced, according to a report by The Associated Press.
  • The DHS accepted a letter of resignation from Nina Jankowicz, the equally controversial chief asked to take charge of the program.
  • Jankowicz told media outlets on Wednesday that the board’s work is “paused” and that its future is “uncertain.”
  • The decision to pause the board was reportedly made by Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas citing the “the cumulative negative reaction and growing concerns that it was distracting from the department’s other work on disinformation.”
  • “The Board has been grossly and intentionally mischaracterized: it was never about censorship or policing speech in any manner,” the department said in a statement. “It was designed to ensure we fulfill our mission to protect the homeland, while protecting core Constitutional rights.”
  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the board Wednesday when questioned by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy: “Look, the board was put forth for a purpose, right,” Jean-Pierre told Doocy. “To make sure that we really did address what was happening across the country when it came to disinformation. It’s — no, it’s just — it’s going to pause, there’s been a mischaracterization from outside forces, and so what we are going to pause is we are going to pause it and we’re going to do an assessment. But the work doesn’t stop. We’re still going to continue the work. The D.H.S. is still going to continue the work.”
  • Mayorkas claimed that the board was “grossly and intentionally mischaracterized” and that it “was never about censorship or policing speech in any manner.”
  • The secretary’s claims about freedom of speech were in contradiction to Jankowicz’s previous comments where she said the thought of free speech absolutists taking over more platforms made her “shudder.”
  • The panel was created just days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced his attempt to buy social media platform Twitter and stated his strong belief in freedom of speech.