The Biden administration’s scandal-plagued initiative to combat misinformation has grown into a dynamic global effort run by handpicked “U.S. subject matter experts” and embedded with a mandate of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). In the latest ploy to counter disinformation the administration is investing $50,000 to train journalists in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. “The project will implement a program to build the capacity of 30 mid-to senior level Pakistani journalists/reporters from relatively new print, broadcast, and digital media outlets, to counter misinformation and disinformation in media reporting,” according to a grant announcement posted this week.
The special training will last six months and consist of three-day quarterly workshops conducted by the so-called U.S. subject matter experts selected by the administration. “The program aims to empower journalists with the skills and knowledge to effectively counter misinformation and disinformation, ensuring accurate and responsible reporting,” the government writes in the grant document. “The series of workshops will be designed to cover the following topics: Understanding misinformation/Disinformation; Digital Verification Tools; Ethical Reporting in the Age of Misinformation/Disinformation; Refutation Methods, Cross-Media Collaboration, Balancing Freedom of Press with Content Regulation, and Building Audience Trust.” The trainings will be in person, which means Uncle Sam will transport—and cover the expenses of—the specially chosen experts to the South Asian country thousands of miles away.
Grant recipients must submit proposals that show the program will advance the principles of DEIA related to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or disability. “Proposals should demonstrate how addressing racial equity and/or the status of underserved communities will enhance the program’s goals and objectives, as well as the experience of participants,” the grant announcement states, adding that “the support of underserved communities will be part of the review criteria for this opportunity.” Therefore, the document orders proposals to “clearly demonstrate how the program will support and advance equity and engage underserved communities in the program’s administration, design, and implementation phases.” Diversity is defined in the document as the practice of including the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, cultures, and beliefs of a community. Equity is the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including those who belong to underserved communities such as ethnic minorities, and indigenous persons, members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality. Inclusion is the recognition, appreciation, and use of the talents and skills of persons of all backgrounds.
The Pakistani misinformation allocation with the DEI directive is part of a broader effort to divert public funds for a fictitious crisis created by the Biden administration to control information. The controversial movement started with a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) panel known as the Disinformation Governance Board, which was technically dismantled after major backlash. Taxpayer dollars keep flowing to related causes, however. Millions in DHS terrorism prevention grants have gone to combat “misinformation and disinformation” and to create media disinformation networks worldwide. Large sums have also gone to related projects such as fighting science misinformation and misperceptions in black communities and, of course, COVID-19 misinformation, especially involving minorities and vaccines. The administration has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop a “precision tool providing journalists with guidance against misinformation” here in the U.S. The magical tool aims to focus on delivering an innovative, three-step method to identify, test, and correct real-world instances of online disinformation by using computational means such as language processing, machine learning, social network analysis and computer vision to identify posts and accounts susceptible to misinformation.
Last summer a congressional probe exposed a shameful scheme to combat misinformation that had the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collude with a compromised Ukrainian intelligence agency to censor the speech of Americans. The federal agency responsible for protecting the nation against terrorists, violent street gangs and serial killers joined forces with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which is widely known to be infiltrated by Russian-aligned forces, to take down the authentic social media accounts of Americans. This includes a verified U.S. State Department profile and those belonging to American journalists.