The former Hawaii congresswoman called the new disinformation organization the government’s ‘propaganda arm’
Former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has claimed former President Barack Obama was behind the White House’s new Disinformation Governance Council, suggesting the current commander-in-chief was just a figure forefront of the project.
“Biden is just a straw man” Gabbard said in a tweet on Sunday, sharing footage from an April 21 speech by former President Obama centered on “Disinformation and Challenges to Democracy in the Digital Realm.”
“Obama, April 21: Social Media Censors ‘Don’t Go Far Enough’, So Government Needs to Step In to Get the Job Done.” Six days later, Homeland Security deploys the “Ministry of Truth” (aka Disinformation Governance Council), Gabbard said, later call on the Democrats to oppose the “propaganda billboard”.
Biden is just a straw man. Obama, April 21: Social media censors “don’t go far enough,” so the government needs to step in to get the job done. Six days later, Homeland Security deploys the “Ministry of Truth” (aka Disinformation Governance Council). pic.twitter.com/CHOD4mbE0B
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) May 1, 2022
In the speech in question, delivered at Stanford University, Obama argued that while social media platforms have made efforts against “dangerous content” that “should be applauded” moderation decisions “should not be left to private interests alone.”
“These decisions affect us all, and like all other industries that have a significant impact on our society, this means that these large platforms must be subject to some level of public oversight and regulation,” he said.
Obama has ramped up warnings about online misinformation in recent weeks, giving a number of speech on the issue this month alone, in addition to a conference hosted by the Obama Foundation to discuss “creative solutions” to the problem.
The Biden administration announced the new Disinformation Governance Council last week, noting that it will operate under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. Although officials said the board “monitor” supposed “disinformation” online in a “impartial” and “apolitical” Thus, the full scope of its activities remains unclear, despite subsequent clarifications from DHS Chief Alejandro Mayorkas.
Pressed to find out exactly how the board will operate during a meeting with CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, Mayorkas would say only that he would not violate Americans’ rights or spy on citizens.
“It works to ensure that the way we address threats – the connectivity between threats and acts of violence, is addressed without undermining freedom of expression, the protection of civil rights and civil liberties, the right to privacy”, he said. “The council, this working group, will take inspiration from best practices and communicate these best practices to operators.”
Critics were quick to denounce the new disinformation council as akin to George Orwell’s “1984” Ministry of Truth and Thought Police, with Gabbard before it. dubbing it is a state “propaganda arm”. The White House, however, rejected this characterization, insisting that the council was not created to “judging what is right or wrong, online or otherwise.”
The US government defends the “Ministry of Truth”
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