DHS may have tabled its infamous Disinformation Governance Board, but it hasn't gotten out of the business of censorship. According to documents leaked to The Intercept, at least one platform has built a special portal for government officials to report and expedite the removal or suppression of posts it doesn't like. And evidently the attempts to control the narrative haven't been limited to just one platform:
"Prior to the 2020 election," The Intercept reports, "tech companies including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Discord, Wikipedia, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Verizon Media met on a monthly basis with the FBI, CISA, and other government representatives. According to NBC News, the meetings were part of an initiative, still ongoing, between the private sector and government to discuss how firms would handle misinformation during the election."
Radio talk-show host Jeff Crank tells AFN that ironically this is good news.
"If we can prove that the government and Facebook and Google and Twitter and all of these companies have been colluding to decide what was going to get shut down, then there is no doubt that it is a violation of the First Amendment," he contends.
According to the leaked documents, Facebook has given the Department of Homeland Security direct access to its content moderators so they can be directed to posts that feed various unsanctioned narratives – e.g., on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, doubts surrounding the mRNA shots, any post related to social justice, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the U.S. Support of Ukraine.
That, Crank argues, is the liberal agenda. "That list is the agenda that they want to force down the throats of Americans," he emphasizes.
According to the talk-show host, the Hunter Biden "laptop story" is the perfect example of collusion in action with huge consequences. "[That] turned out to all be true," Crank states, "and almost everybody knew it was true. But these social media platforms shut down not just some 'wackadoo,' but the New York Post.
"They were exposing this and [the Left] couldn't have that happen before the election."
As The Intercept points out, DHS's Disinformation Governance Board was "widely ridiculed" when announced in late April, "immediately scaled back, and then shut down within a few months." One of the reasons for the Board's quick demise was public reaction to the appointment of "disinformation fellow" Nina Jankowicz to head the effort.
A key takeaway from the recently leaked documents, says The Intercept, is that even though DHS shuttered that controversial governance board, it is clear "the underlying work is ongoing." Confidential minutes from a Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) committee meeting in April 2022 bear that out:
"CISA has a burgeoning MDM [mis-, dis-, and mal-information] effort that focuses on building national resilience through public awareness …. These actions include directly engaging with social media companies to flag MDM, and creating a repository of factual guides and toolkits."
CISA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.