Former head of the Disinformation Governance Board, Nina Jankowicz, said Thursday that the board is supposed to deal with issues like mass shootings and extremism.
While in an interview on the NPR podcast “Fresh Air” hosted by Terry Gross, Jankowicz attempted to clarify her position leading the board.
“I think another example that’s important, that’s also within the Department’s portfolio, especially given the events of the past few weeks, is that disinformation plays a role in radicalizing people to violence,” she said.
“You know, we’re seeing continued mass shootings here in the United States, and in many of those cases, violent extremism is begotten by things people see on the Internet,” she added. “So, that’s the sort of thing that we would be looking to address”.
Jankowicz also hit back at people, “mostly on the conservative side of the spectrum,” who made up a “scary narrative” about the board.
She noted that many said she “was a czar, a disinformation czar, a minister of truth”. “Nothing could have been farther from the truth”.
“The idea was to bring me in as an expert and work with the folks in the department making sure they had access to best practices, helping them put good information out there, and, frankly, making sure Americans were equipped with information that kept them safe and secure,” she claimed.
At the beginning of May, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reportedly said that the DGB does not have the capability to monitor United States citizens and would focus on foreign threats of disinformation.
“The board does not have any operational authority or capability,” he told CNN.
“What it will do is gather together best practices in addressing the threat of disinformation from foreign state adversaries from the cartels and disseminate those best practices to the operators that have been executing in addressing this threat for years,” Mayorkas explained.
The board was put on “pause” a few weeks after its announcement and news of Jankowicz’s resignation spread online.