Former Disinformation Czar Admits DHS Struggled To Define ‘Disinformation’

Nina Jankowicz, the former director of the Department of Homeland Security’s short-lived Disinformation Governance Board, revealed in a recently released deposition that the agency grappled with defining the very concept of “disinformation” during her tenure.

Jankowicz, who resigned in 2022 amid fierce criticism of the board, told the House Judiciary Committee in April 2023 that there were “pretty big gaps” in understanding the concept within DHS. “You can’t say that something is a bear if you don’t know what a bear looks like,” she said.

The former disinformation czar claimed that the board’s purview was never meant to be an arbiter of truth but rather to act as a coordinator for ongoing work within the government while protecting civil liberties. She also asserted that the board never intended to police what Americans said online or offline.

Jankowicz described dysfunction and confusion throughout her brief tenure, claiming that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ communications advisers vetoed her plans to brief Congress on her role, allowing it to become a target of misinformation. She said she faced “tens of thousands of death threats” and had to hire a security consultant who advised her to leave her home to protect herself.