NYT - The Department of Homeland Security announced on Wednesday that it was suspending the work of an internal advisory board intended to combat disinformation after what the department described as a deliberate disinformation campaign.
The creation of the panel, called the Disinformation Governance Board, set off a firestorm of criticism when it was announced last month. While the criticism came from across the political spectrum, including civil liberty groups, the fiercest denunciations came from the right. Republican leaders and commentators talked about it as an Orwellian Ministry of Truth that would police people’s speech.
That was never the board’s mandate, a department spokesman said in a written statement. Instead, it was meant to coordinate the department’s various agencies in the fight against malicious disinformation by foreign adversaries, drug or human traffickers or other international crime groups.
Only weeks after its inception, however, its fate is now in doubt. Nina Jankowicz, an authority on disinformation who was chosen in the spring to lead the board, submitted her resignation on Wednesday after facing vitriolic and highly personal harassment and abuse online.
“False attacks have become a significant distraction from the department’s vitally important work to combat disinformation that threatens the safety and security of the American people,” the department’s statement said.
You really hate to see it.
It's a shock We The People were actually aware, and not too busy keeping up with the Kardashians to notice and say something. Credit to us.
The major hot-button suggestion that got the social media networks buzzing was when several self-important blue checkmarks on twitter started throwing around the novel idea of allowing verified (aka blue check-marked) accounts to edit other people's tweets.
("not from any political standpoint" did it for me.)
Why the announcement of this caused such an uproar over the past three weeks is beyond me. The trustworthy people in government, should always get to decide what is true and what is not. Especially when platforms are planning to refuse implementation of hidden government censorship. If you don't have anything to hide, then why would you be worried?
"The truth shall set you free" - Jesus
Real talk for a minute. Is disinformation a serious problem today? Yes. Big time actually. When you can't tell what is a headline from The Onion and what is real life anymore because we're officially living in bizarro world, that's a problem. Especially when the average citizen is dumb as a doornail (not you, everybody else). To quote the GOAT, George Carlin, "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."
Throw in the fact that Russia, China, and Iran flood facebook and twitter with bots continuously posting shit they just know your racist aunt and psycho uncle will lap up like parched dogs and go tell all their friends about. Or forward to you if you're extra unlucky.
It's all a short-fused stick of dynamite.
Elon Musk (kind of a smart guy) thinks 20% of twitter accounts are fake. There are roughly 330 million twitter accounts. I'm terrible at math but that means around 66,600,000 accounts on twitter are bots according to Elon.
So as you can see, if stupidity and ignorance are as big a problem as they are, and you add an extreme case of disinformation to the mix, its a real problem.
If you can't trust the government, then who can you trust?
Here are a few of my suggestions for some straight-shooters who should be appointed to sit on the revamped board of The Ministry of Truth.