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Nina Jankowicz, a Russian disinformation expert, will head up the new Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board
The administration is setting up a new board to combat disinformation related to homeland security – headed by a woman who questioned the validity of Hunter Biden‘s laptop and criticized free speech on social media.
Nina Jankowicz will head The Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board as executive director, Politico Playbook reported Wednesday morning.
‘Cat’s out of the bag: here’s what I’ve been up to the past two months, and why I’ve been a bit quiet on here,’ Jankowicz tweeted of her new endeavor and the new DHS board.
‘Honored to be serving in the Biden Administration @DHSgov and helping shape our counter-disinformation efforts.’
She added that ‘a HUGE focus of our work, and indeed, one of the key reasons the Board was established, is to maintain the Dept’s committment (sic) to protecting free speech, privacy, civil rights, & civil liberties.’
The Russia disinformation expert previously called the laptop of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter a ‘Trump campaign product’.
This is causing questions over Jankowicz’s ability to accurately judge disinformation now that several sources have come out confirming the validity of Hunter’s laptop.
Jankowicz also suggested last week that she opposes the The First Amendment because she thinks it is bad for ‘marginalized communities’ and called Elon Musk a ‘free speech absolutist’ because he wants to make Twitter more open to all voices.
Jankowicz is a fellow at the Wilson Center where she studies the ‘intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe’. She is also the author of How To Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict.
Senator Josh Hawley pointed out that Jankowicz told NPR last week that she ‘shudders to think about’ more free speech on social media platforms after Elon Musk made a bid for Twitter
Jankowicz has also previously questioned the validity of Hunter Biden’s laptop, calling it ‘a Trump campaign product’
When stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop started emerging, several outlets, social media sites and left-leaning disinformation experts claimed that it was just misinformation coming from Trump and others on the right.
In an October 2020 report, Jankowicz shared her skepticism of the contents of the laptop and the claims it belonged to Hunter.
‘We should view it as a Trump campaign product,’ she told the New York Daily News at the time.
Twitter repeatedly took down the Hunter Biden laptop story and prevented it from being spread on the platform.
Billionaire Elon Musk, who just purchased Twitter, said that his aim is to make the social media platform a more open ‘digital town square.’
‘Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,’ Musk wrote in a statement upon the purchase approval.
Jankowicz spoke with NPR last week and questioned Musk’s purchase of the platform and
‘I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities,’ she said.
She said these groups are ‘already shouldering…disproportionate amounts of this abuse’ and said free speech and lack of censoring on social media would make it worse.
Billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter this week and says he plans to make it a more free speech orientated platform
Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley tweeted an image of her remarks to NPR with the caption: ‘The Biden Administration’s new anti-speech czar is apparently no fan of the @elonmusk Twitter acquisition.’
‘This is the person Joe Biden just put in charge of policing Americans’ speech. Using the power of the government.’
Jankowicz has advised the Ukrainian government on strategist communications – she also managed democracy assistance programs to Russia and Belarus.
She received her masters in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and her bachelors degree from Bryn Mawr College.