DHS watchdog calls for revamping counter disinformation efforts
The watchdog's conclusion follows a dramatic episode surrounding the DHS's creation of a Disinformation Governance Board
The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General on Thursday released a report calling for the agency to develop a new comprehensive strategy to counter disinformation on social media.
"Without a unified strategy, DHS and its components cannot coordinate effectively, internally, or externally to counter disinformation campaigns that appear in social media," the IG said in the report.
The watchdog's conclusion follows a dramatic episode surrounding the DHS's creation of a Disinformation Governance Board, widely derided as a potentially Orwellian censorship body. The Biden administration quickly backtracked on the idea after Nina Jankowicz, the board's original director, quickly resigned. In mid-July an advisory panel for DHS firmly asserted there was "no need for a Disinformation Governance Board."
While the IG did not directly call for the return of the DGB, it highlighted that the DHS currently lacks a system for coordinating and monitoring disinformation efforts.
"Although DHS components have worked across various social media platforms to counter disinformation, DHS does not yet have a unified department-wide strategy to effectively counter disinformation that originates from both foreign and domestic sources," the report read.
"DHS faced challenges unifying component efforts because disinformation is an emerging and evolving threat. We also attributed some challenges to the continual changes in DHS leadership, which may have hindered the development of top-down strategic guidance for countering disinformation."
DHS began actively working on counter disinformation efforts in 2018, the report noted, originally focusing on campaigns about election infrastructure.
The report comes amid fears of politicized justice after the FBI raided former President Donald Trump's Florida estate on Monday reportedly in search of classified documents he may have taken from the White House. Republicans resoundingly condemned the move as an abuse of power and political persecution by the Biden administration.
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