FLASHBACK: New disinfo board head said executive branch shouldn’t have the power to determine fake news

"I would never want to see our executive branch have that sort of power," Jankowicz said.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

In a newly uncovered clip of the Department of Homeland Security’s head of the new Disinformation Governance Board Nina Jankowicz, she said that the executive branch shouldn’t be determining what is fake news or not.

The clip of the online conversation, compiles by Twitter user Maze, originally took place in May of 2020, under the former Trump administration.

"Imagine that, you know, with President Trump right now calling all of these news organizations that have inconvenient for him stories that they — that they're getting out there that he's calling fake news, and now lashing out at platforms," said Jankowicz.

"I would never want to see our executive branch have that sort of power," she added.

Jankowicz continued on to say that that’s why the "legislative process with our duly elected officials is really important, that sort of consultative rule making process, and we can't just govern by executive order anymore."

Cutting to a later point in the conversation, Jankowicz said, "I think the reverberations in the free speech space are huge. Not to mention, this is exactly what section 230 was designed to do to allow the platforms to enforce the standards on their own spaces. So I think, you know, the entire conversation is being obviously blown out of proportion for political reasons."

Jankowicz later drew parallels with Poland and its Ministry of Digitalization, as well as the country’s Law and Justice party.

"Poland has established this consultative process with its Ministry of Digitalization and Facebook, because like the Trump administration, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Law and Justice Party got this idea from the Trump administration, they, they believe that there's anti-conservative bias on Facebook, even though there have been multiple studies that prove otherwise," she said.

"And they have this consultative process where they send someone from the Ministry of Digitalization to discuss with Facebook's officers in Warsaw, all of the instances of unfair content moderation and some of them are being overturned through that political pressure," Jankowicz continued. "They have a tip line that people can kind of report when they think their content has been unjustly overturned, and the Trump administration has a similar thing. So it's providing a lot of fodder for anti-democratic online governance, and it's very, very scary, and I think this is really where Congress needs to step in."

At another later point in the conversation, Jankowicz noted that the Wilson Center, where she serves as a disinformation fellow, is partially funded by Facebook.

On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of its Disinformation Governance Board, which will focus on misinformation related to homeland security.

Jankowicz, who will head the new board, has been exposed previously spreaking misinformation on Twitter, for example in regards to the Hunter Biden laptop story, which she called a "Trump campaign product."


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