Last Updated on May 18, 2022
The Biden Administration’s “Disinformation Governance Board”, which was to be formed under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security, has been placed on hold. The Washington Post reported that the Department of Homeland Security decided to scrap the idea Monday after weeks of intense backlash from Republicans and independents.
The Washington Post further reported that Nina Jankowicz, who was tapped to head the new board, had prepared her resignation as of Tuesday morning. Department officials later told her she could stay as of Tuesday evening, the outlet said.
Jankowicz — who has been dubbed “Scary Poppins” after numerous videos of her performing disinformation-themed musical numbers went viral — was billed as a “disinformation expert.”
Jankowicz has repeatedly accused former President Trump of being a “Russian asset” and has falsely labeled the infamous Hunter Biden laptop as “Russian disinformation.” She has referred to any questioning of the 2020 election as “disinformation” despite pushing baseless Russian collusion conspiracy theories herself.
Nina Jankowicz Song on TikTok-Hide A Little Lie pic.twitter.com/QmUbRGvegq
— INDIGENIUS_SCORPIO (@indigeniusscorp) April 29, 2022
As for policy proposals put forward by Jankowicz, she has called for increased regulation of social media. One idea was to give verified Twitter users — who would be selected by “disinformation experts” such as Jankowicz — the power to edit tweets from other accounts. She has also baselessly claimed that “liberal” and “minority voices” are more likely to be censored by big tech.
A spokesperson for the DHS complained that Jankowicz “has been subjected to unjustified and vile personal attacks and physical threats.” The spokesperson also said she is “eminently qualified”, according to the New York Post.
DHS Secretary Mayorkas received plenty of flak over Jankowicz and the board’s creation in general during Congressional hearings. “When the department picked her, was the department aware of her Tik Tok videos?” Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked Mayorkas. “They’re really quite precocious.”
Mayorkas claimed that he was not aware of the videos when Jankowicz was appointed.
KENNEDY: "When the department picked [Nina Jankowicz], was the department aware of her Tik Tok videos? They're really quite precocious."
MAYORKAS: "I was not aware of those videos." pic.twitter.com/eBgbwDMpok
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 4, 2022
The Disinformation Governance Board had a mandate to fight the spread of “disinformation” that “can affect border security, Americans’ safety during disasters, and public trust in our democratic institutions.”
Under Alejandro Mayorkas, the DHS has labelled concerned parents, vaccine skeptics and those who question the 2020 election as national security threats.