Not even a month after the Biden administration announced the creation of the Disinformation Governance Board, it appears the new board that was meant to fight disinformation being spread online was put on hold. On top of the board being placed in limbo, the head of the board, Nina Jankowicz, also surprised D.C. when she submitted her resignation.
Releasing a statement about her stepping down, Jankowicz stated, “With the board’s work paused and its future uncertain … I have decided to leave DHS to return to my work in the public sphere. It is deeply disappointing that mischaracterizations of the board became a distraction from the department’s vital work, and indeed, along with recent events globally and nationally, embodies why it is necessary. I maintain my commitment to building awareness of disinformation’s threats and trust the Department will do the same.”
Not having many details on the decision, Fox News’ Peter Doocy simple asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre what had changed. She answered, “Look, the Department of Homeland Security, they began their statement repeating that the board had been intentionally mischaracterized, which is a little bit about what you were asking me and they were explicit about what it does and does not do. It was never about censorship, policing speech or removing content from anywhere. It’s function was to keep Homeland Security officials aware of how bad actors, including human smugglers, transnational criminal organizations and foreign adversaries could use disinformation to advance their goals.”
Not admitting that the board was being dissolved, the Press Secretary added, “As Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he has asked former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and former DAG Jamie Gorelick to lead a thorough review — this is the pause that I was talking about — and assessment as members of the bipartisan Homeland Security Advisory Council. The board will not convene during that period but the department’s work across several administrations that addresses disinformation that threatens the security of the country is critical and will continue. So that work is going to continue.”
When pressed more on the matter, Jean-Pierre just reiterated the same thought. “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.”