Feds spend tens of millions sponsoring ‘domestic censorship operations’

by mcardinal

Savannah Hulsey Pointer, FISM News 


In the fiscal years 2021 and 2022, the National Science Foundation has given out at least $39 million in grants and contracts for initiatives to combat “false” or “misleading” information, particularly in relation to COVID-19 and elections.

According to a report by Just The News, cabinet-level agencies are only one part of the government’s endeavor to stifle alleged misinformation and disinformation on the most contentious issues in American politics.

Two contracts were awarded to journalists’ anti-misinformation organizations for the purpose of  “expert-informed resources… to address vaccine hesitancy and misinformation,” including Hacks/Hackers who received $3.7 million, with the possibility of an additional $2 million. 

In order to provide “fact-checkers” and “community collaboration tools” for “combating hate, abuse, and misinformation with minority-led partnerships,” Meedan was awarded a contract worth $3.2 million with an additional $2.5 million in funding options. For “identifying and fighting misinformation on closed messaging platforms (COVID-19)” it also won a grant of $256,000. 

The NSF Convergence Accelerator, which “builds upon basic research and discovery to expedite ideas toward social impact,” awarded both awards totaling $5 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

Additionally, 10 awards for the fiscal years 2021 and 2022 specifically mention Track F of the accelerator, or “Trust & Authenticity in Communication Systems.” The largest grant recipients, the State University of New York ($4.3 million), George Washington University ($4 million), University of Wisconsin ($3.8 million), and the University of Washington ($3.5 million), are all recipients of Track F funds. 

The D.C.-based GWU was also given $200,000 to “study how populist politicians distorted COVID-19 pandemic health communication” in order to foster mistrust and make people “more vulnerable to misinformation generally.” In the US, Brazil, Poland, and Serbia, the study will look into “the most effective ways to oppose these populist narratives.”

The State Department reportedly instructed abroad personnel to promote an online game at nearby schools to “inoculate” children against false information, with the apparent aim of stifling populism like Brexit. “Cat Park” teaches viewers that “opposing government corruption” is false information, according to the Foundation for Freedom Online, which is run by former State official Mike Benz.

The Global Engagement Center at State University and the Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington are members of the Election Integrity Partnership, a private consortium that was established with assistance from the Department of Homeland Security. The Election Integrity Partnership has reported alleged election misinformation to tech platforms for removal over the last two cycles.

“It took two and a half centuries for America to build its reputation as the beacon of freedom,” Benz told the “Just the News No Noise” TV show Monday. “And it took about two and a half years to critically undermine that, but it’s not dead.”

If DHS and State are “completely defunded with respect to domestic censorship operations,” including grants and contracts, “you will essentially remove a critical Jenga piece that is underlying the entire economy of the censorship industry,” Benz said.

The continuous government initiatives to “pre-bunk” and stifle opposing viewpoints contrast with the collapsing campaign to cast doubt on the veracity of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop.

“The mainstream media has gone overboard” to get out in front of the laptop issue, saying it could be Russian disinformation, then suggesting “it’s probably been tampered with” and eventually finally admitting it shows “no evidence” of tampering, as CBS News reported Monday, House Oversight Committee ranking member James Comer (R-Ky.) told the John Solomon Reports podcast Monday, calling it “corruption.”

“At the very least, the American people need to know that Joe Biden blatantly lied about having any knowledge of Hunter’s business dealings, more so he was involved,” the soon-to-be committee chairman said. “If the mainstream media spent more time reporting the facts, I think everyone in America would want a credible investigation of any potential wrongdoing.”