Truth Cops: Leaked Documents Outline DHS Plan To Police Disinformation (1 Viewer)

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    SaintForLife

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    THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. Years of internal DHS memos, emails, and documents — obtained via leaks and an ongoing lawsuit, as well as public documents — illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms.

    The work, much of which remains unknown to the American public, came into clearer view earlier this year when DHS announced a new “Disinformation Governance Board”: a panel designed to police misinformation (false information spread unintentionally), disinformation (false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (factual information shared, typically out of context, with harmful intent) that allegedly threatens U.S. interests. While the board was widely ridiculed, immediately scaled back, and then shut down within a few months, other initiatives are underway as DHS pivots to monitoring social media now that its original mandate — the war on terror — has been wound down.

    Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information.

    “Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, a former DHS official, texted Jen Easterly, a DHS director, in February.

    In a March meeting, Laura Dehmlow, an FBI official, warned that the threat of subversive information on social media could undermine support for the U.S. government. Dehmlow, according to notes of the discussion attended by senior executives from Twitter and JPMorgan Chase, stressed that “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable.”

    Key Takeaways
    • Though DHS shuttered its controversial Disinformation Governance Board, a strategic document reveals the underlying work is ongoing.
    • DHS plans to target inaccurate information on “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.”
    • Facebook created a special portal for DHS and government partners to report disinformation directly.


    -The work is primarily done by CISA, a DHS sub-agency tasked with protecting critical national infrastructure.

    -DHS, the FBI, and several media entities are having biweekly meetings as recently as August.
    DHS considered countering disinformation relating to content that undermines trust in financial systems and courts.

    -The FBI agent who primed social media platforms to take down the Hunter Biden laptop story continued to have a role in DHS policy discussions.

    ...In retrospect, the New York Post reporting on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop ahead of the 2020 election provides an elucidating case study of how this works in an increasingly partisan environment.

    Much of the public ignored the reporting or assumed it was false, as over 50 former intelligence officials charged that the laptop story was a creation of a “Russian disinformation” campaign. The mainstream media was primed by allegations of election interference in 2016 — and, to be sure, Trump did attempt to use the laptop to disrupt the Biden campaign. Twitter ended up banning links to the New York Post’s report on the contents of the laptop during the crucial weeks leading up to the election. Facebook also throttled users’ ability to view the story.

    In recent months, a clearer picture of the government’s influence has emerged.

    In an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast in August, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook had limited sharing of the New York Post’s reporting after a conversation with the FBI. “The background here is that the FBI came to us — some folks on our team — and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election,’” Zuckerberg told Rogan. The FBI told them, Zuckerberg said, that “‘We have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump.’” When the Post’s story came out in October 2020, Facebook thought it “fit that pattern” the FBI had told them to look out for.

    Zuckerberg said he regretted the decision, as did Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter at the time. Despite claims that the laptop’s contents were forged, the Washington Post confirmed that at least some of the emails on the laptop were authentic. The New York Times authenticated emails from the laptop — many of which were cited in the original New York Post reporting from October 2020 — that prosecutors have examined as part of the Justice Department’s probe into whether the president’s son violated the law on a range of issues, including money laundering, tax-related offenses, and foreign lobbying registration.

    Documents filed in federal court as part of a lawsuit by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana add a layer of new detail to Zuckerberg’s anecdote, revealing that officials leading the push to expand the government’s reach into disinformation also played a quiet role in shaping the decisions of social media giants around the New York Post story.

     
    Given that there is a large swath of the public that has immense difficulty determining reality from fantasy, I don't mind the government pitching in a little.
    That's a little scary considering how often the government lies. Orwellian
     
    That's a little scary considering how often the government lies. Orwellian
    So, first of all that is why you need a strong independent press. Consisting of competitive outfits and also international outfits. Which we have.

    Second, that is also why we have a system of government that contains robust checks and balances.

    Lastly, I don’t think you much mind being lied to, considering all the outright lies you consume and believe. 😁

    Seriously, I don’t think it’s wise to handcuff the Government by saying they are not allowed to put forth any facts or expert opinions. They should always be researched and their statements should be checked out. But there is a lot of knowledge in the people who work for various state and local agencies. They should be able to weigh in on issues just like anyone else.
     
    That's a little scary considering how often the government lies. Orwellian

    I am advocating for the government to provide facts with supporting data, evidence, citations, etc., and to do so in a transparent manner. Do you have an issue with the government doing this?
     
    It's not Orwellian to ban books!!!! /s

    I am advocating for the government to provide facts with supporting data, evidence, citations, etc., and to do so in a transparent manner. Do you have an issue with the government doing this?

    Further, it would be a dereliction of duty if an elected government doesn't do this. For example, if the water supply is contaminated and the populace are confused, so let's say the perpetrator spreads false info otherwise, then the government is liable for 1. not informing the populace, 2. preventing it, and 3. not hold the perp responsible.

    PS, is it only dizzying to me to see on the one hand that banning works like those of Toni Morrison is A OK for children's sake, but on the other argue that free speech is absolute?
     
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    I am advocating for the government to provide facts with supporting data, evidence, citations, etc., and to do so in a transparent manner. Do you have an issue with the government doing this?
    Not with the way you phrased it, but it's a lot more than that right? The government pressuring social media companies to censor posts or ban users is quite different than just providing facts with supporting data etc.
     
    Not with the way you phrased it, but it's a lot more than that right? The government pressuring social media companies to censor posts or ban users is quite different than just providing facts with supporting data etc.

    I think the government has a responsibility to every single person living here to make sure accurate information is spread far and wide and to combat blatant falsehoods that endanger countless lives. The form that takes is complex and up for discussion, of course.
     
    Not with the way you phrased it, but it's a lot more than that right? The government pressuring social media companies to censor posts or ban users is quite different than just providing facts with supporting data etc.
    What pressure was applied? This is the huge disconnect. Just informing Twitter that they have information that contradicts what people are saying on Twitter isn’t really pressure. There were no consequences if Twitter ignored their recommendations. And in fact Twitter did ignore nearly half of them.

    Nobody was banned by government request - Twitter did the banning according to their previously enacted policies.

    Here is what government censorship actually looks like - Disney made a public statement that they didn’t agree with a law that DeSantis had passed so DeSantis punished Disney by taking away their enterprise zone (and only theirs not the others that exist in the state) and enacting new and onerous safety inspections that only apply to their rides. On top of this he disbanded the local county enterprise board and replaced them with people hostile to Disney. But this is A-OK with you, right?

    So can you explain how pressure is being applied if there are no consequences for ignoring the recommendations?
     
    What pressure was applied? This is the huge disconnect. Just informing Twitter that they have information that contradicts what people are saying on Twitter isn’t really pressure. There were no consequences if Twitter ignored their recommendations. And in fact Twitter did ignore nearly half of them.

    Nobody was banned by government request - Twitter did the banning according to their previously enacted policies.

    Here is what government censorship actually looks like - Disney made a public statement that they didn’t agree with a law that DeSantis had passed so DeSantis punished Disney by taking away their enterprise zone (and only theirs not the others that exist in the state) and enacting new and onerous safety inspections that only apply to their rides. On top of this he disbanded the local county enterprise board and replaced them with people hostile to Disney. But this is A-OK with you, right?

    So can you explain how pressure is being applied if there are no consequences for ignoring the recommendations?
    I'm not sure why are acting as if we don't know that the courts twice(once on appeal) said that the Biden Administration violated the 1st ammendment.



    You should probably drop the talking points.
     
    How is it censorship for a company to decide what it will and will not tolerate on its own pages? Do you feel obligated to allow Antifa to come and set up camp on your lawn and distribute fliers? Would you ask them to leave your property? It seems you think they have a right to stand on your property and deliver messages you don’t agree with, doesn’t it?
     
    How is it censorship for a company to decide what it will and will not tolerate on its own pages? Do you feel obligated to allow Antifa to come and set up camp on your lawn and distribute fliers? Would you ask them to leave your property? It seems you think they have a right to stand on your property and deliver messages you don’t agree with, doesn’t it?
    Whatever one thinks of the Bin Laden document, it is a historical document. I'm not sure why they don't want people to be able to discuss it on Tik Tik and why the Guardian removed the document from it's website.
     
    Whatever one thinks of the Bin Laden document, it is a historical document. I'm not sure why they don't want people to be able to discuss it on Tik Tik and why the Guardian removed the document from it's website.
    Are you saying they don’t have the right to do that? It seems to me they have the right to remove any content they find objectionable. Do you disagree?
     
    Are you saying they don’t have the right to do that? It seems to me they have the right to remove any content they find objectionable. Do you disagree?
    Of course they can, but why would they remove a historical document from the only place it was posted online? They didn't find it objectable for the 20 years or so that the Guardian had it on their website. Why would they suddenly find it objectable after 20 years just because people were discussing it on Tik Tok?
     

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