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Washington Post’s “internet culture” columnist Taylor Lorenz came clean about what she really thought about the Biden administration’s now-defunct “Disinformation Governance Board” after suggesting “right-wing” attacks were to blame.

Lorenz broke the news on Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security was putting a “pause” on its initiative rolled out last month to combat disinformation.

WAPO’S TAYLOR LORENZ RUNS COVER FOR ‘VICTIM’ NINA JANKOWICZ WHILE REPORTING DHS PUT PAUSE ON DISINFO BOARD

The board was brutally panned right out of the gate with immediate comparisons to George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth.” Meanwhile, the board’s executive director Nina Jankowicz was skewered by critics for her checkered past of spreading misinformation and for questionable social media posts. Jankowicz has since resigned from DHS altogether.

Nina Jankowicz will be the executive director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board.
(@wiczipedia Twitter account)

Lorenz’s report heavily implied the “Disinformation Governance Board” solely imploded from the backlash, running the headline, “How the Biden administration let right-wing attacks derail its disinformation efforts.”

However, she sang a different tune on Twitter during an exchange with BuzzFeed News reporter Joe Bernstein.

WAPO PIECE CRUSHED FOR BLAMING ‘RIGHT-WING’ FOR DERAILING DISINFO BOARD: ‘SLOBBERING DEFENSE OF POWER’

“Two things can be true: Something can be subject to a loathsome bad faith right wing messaging operation and still be a horribly misconceived and underthought fiasco,” Bernstein tweeted.

“yup, a disaster on all fronts,” Lorenz reacted. “Thinking especially of the [people] on the Hill I talked to who work in this area and had to learn [about] this whole Board from a Politico newsletter blurb.”

Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz revealed the previously anonymous woman’s name, occupation, religion and where in the country she lived.

Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz revealed the previously anonymous woman’s name, occupation, religion and where in the country she lived.
(MSNBC)

In her report, Lorenz touted Jankowicz as a “well-known figure in the field of fighting disinformation and extremism” but painted her as a “victim” of “coordinated online attacks,” complaining her appointment “was thrust into the spotlight by the very forces she dedicated her career to combating.”

“The board itself and DHS received criticism for both its somewhat ominous name and scant details of specific mission… but Jankowicz was on the receiving end of the harshest attacks, with her role mischaracterized as she became a primary target on the right-wing Internet,” Lorenz wrote Wednesday. “She has been subject to an unrelenting barrage of harassment and abuse while unchecked misrepresentations of her work continue to go viral.”

Lorenz claimed the board is being “paused,” a decision that was made at DHS on Monday according to multiple DHS employees, and that Jankowicz “had drafted a resignation letter in response to the board’s dissolution.”

TAYLOR LORENZ HAS TWITTER PAGE EXCLUDED FROM INTERNET ARCHIVE AS SHE DEFENDS SCRUTINIZING LIBS OF TIKTOK

The left-wing journalist failed to acknowledge Jankowicz’s own history of peddling falsehoods, putting the focus on her critics and placing blame on the DHS for letting her down instead.

“Jankowicz’s experience is a prime example of how the right-wing Internet apparatus operates, where far-right influencers attempt to identify a target, present a narrative and then repeat mischaracterizations across social media and websites with the aim of discrediting and attacking anyone who seeks to challenge them. It also shows what happens when institutions, when confronted with these attacks, don’t respond effectively,” Lorenz wrote. “Those familiar with the board’s inner workings, including DHS employees and Capitol Hill staffers, along with experts on disinformation, say Jankowicz was set up to fail by an administration that was unsure of its messaging and unprepared to counteract a coordinated online campaign against her.”

An image of Nina Jankowicz from Twitter and a hand scrolling through 'fake news' 

An image of Nina Jankowicz from Twitter and a hand scrolling through ‘fake news’
(Arkadiusz Warguła/iStock)

Lorenz attempted to dismiss the “1984” comparisons, insisting neither Jankowicz nor the board “had any power or ability to declare what is true or false, or compel Internet providers, social media platforms or public schools to take action against certain types of speech. In fact, the board itself had no power or authority to make any operational decisions.”

She went on to allege Jankowicz was the subject of a “right-wing disinformation and smear campaign” and that “harassment and reputational harm is core to the attack strategy.” She claimed such coordinated campaigns “invariably start with identifying a person to characterize as a villain. Attacking faceless institutions is difficult, so a figurehead (almost always a woman or person of color) is found to serve as its face.”

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The Post’s report was blasted on social media as over-the-top sugarcoating for what critics called a deeply flawed program with a problematic appointee at the top.

Lorenz has repeatedly spoken out about being harassed online, even participating in an MSNBC interview last month when she said “the worst people on the internet” were trying to destroy her life. She recently came under fire for her report doxxing the woman behind the popular Libs of TikTok Twitter account.

 

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