The Biden administration has put plans for a controversial “disinformation” board under the Department of Homeland Security on “pause” after the board’s formation caused a widespread backlash, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
The report said that Nina Jankowicz, a so-called “disinformation expert” who was appointed to head the board, has resigned from the DHS. Jankowicz has previously worked as a “disinformation fellow” at the Wilson Center and advised the Ukrainian government.
The report included a picture of Jankowicz working in a press room at Volodymyr Zelensky’s campaign headquarters in 2019 in Ukraine. Jankowicz had also previously worked at the National Democracy Institute, a US-government-funded NGO, where she oversaw Russia and Belarus programs.
The Post report framed Jankowicz and the DHS board as victims of coordinated “right-wing attacks” on the internet. But Americans from across the political spectrum had raised concerns about the US government creating a disinformation board, likening it to the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984.
What exactly the role of the board would be is not clear. The DHS said it was created to counter “disinformation” with a focus on immigration and Russia, but it’s not clear what sort of authority it would have.
Jankowicz has come under fire for her previous statements and political views, including her questioning the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop story published by The New York Post in October 2020, right before the November presidential election.
The Hunter Biden story was censored by Twitter, and former US intelligence officials claimed it was Russian disinformation, something then-candidate Biden repeated on the debate stage with President Trump. But it has since been confirmed that the laptop story was authentic.