The Week the Trolls Stormed Homeland Security

With Nina Jankowicz - former Executive Director of the Disinformation Governance Board.

Episode description:

One of the goals of In Reality is to introduce our listeners to people who are on the front lines of the battle against disinformation. But battles have casualties, and Nina Jankowicz is one of them. Nina is a highly respected expert on Russian disinformation strategies and the author of two books, How to Lose the Information War and How to Be a Woman Online. In the spring of 2022, the Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of what it called the Disinformation Governance Board to coordinate the department’s defenses against networked propaganda, and named Nina as director. Disinformation forces attacked instantly. Social media was swamped by figures inside and outside of government  who deliberately mischaracterized the role of the board and Nina’s qualifications to run it. After two weeks of unrelenting attacks, the D.H.S. dissolved the board, and Nina resigned. In this episode, Eric and Nina talk about how it felt to go through that, why the D.H.S. was so helpless in the face of a homegrown disinformation attack, and about the personal attacks that besiege Nina to this day. They also cover the failures of the social media giants to police their own sites, the true meaning of free speech, and what the U.S. can learn from European democracies about countering disinformation.

Created & produced by: Podcast Partners / Published: Jan 11 2023

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