New government effort to combat disinformation sparks Republican backlash

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The Department of Homeland Security is taking on dangerous disinformation. They created a new board dedicated to tackling the issue, but some lawmakers are raising concerns.

When asked about the Department of Homeland Security’s new Disinformation Governance Board, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said they support the effort.

“To prevent disinformation and misinformation from travelling around the country in a range of communities. I’m not sure who opposes that effort,” Psaki said.

It turns out many Republican lawmakers do oppose the new board, including Sen. Josh Hawley.

“They want to police the speech of American citizens. It is absolutely insane,” Hawley, R-Mo., said.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas insists their new board is meant to combat dangerous and misleading information.

“Disinformation that imperils the safety and security of our homeland,” Mayorkas said.

The board is new, so exactly how they’ll do that is unclear.

Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., calls the board unconstitutional. He is among many who are comparing it to the Ministry of Truth from the dystopian novel 1984.

“This is nothing more than a blatant attempt to install a Ministry of Truth in order to push Biden’s propaganda,” Clyde said.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., says it’s censorship.

“They are going to step in here and say, we are going to take control, because there are some things we want you to know and there are some things we don’t,” Blackburn said.

The Biden administration argues there’s a major need to combat the lies and conspiracies that mislead people and sow division.

“There has been a range of [disinformation] out there about a range of topics – I mean including COVID, for example, and also elections and eligibility,” Psaki said.

Sen. Hawley wants the board to be dissolved.

“Just because you disagree with your opponent doesn’t mean it’s disinformation,” Hawley said.



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