Disinformation Czar Wants Social Media Edits By Blue Checkmarks

Nina Jankowicz, head of the new Disinformation Governance board, has been in the news recently for a spate of bad publicity. From her labeling Republicans as being responsible for the majority of disinformation to pushing disinformation about Trump herself, her introduction to the national scene has not gone smoothly.

Apparently, censoring social media posts or marking them as misleading is not enough. Jankowicz wants the ability to edit actual posts for ‘context,’ akin to how Wikipedia works. From a practical perspective, it is unknown how people would be selected for this role. Given the sheer amount of users on social media, such an approach would have to target only lower-level influencers who were a step below the Twitter blue checkmark level. This would have all sorts of unintended consequences.

The people in the editing position would not just be responsible for editing content, but would become gatekeepers of who could ascend to the blue check or editor position. This would result in content creators self-censoring to try and not run afoul of the Disinformation board. An echo chamber would be created, and informed dissent would be diminished. Republicans would argue that this is the entire purpose of the board.

The White House has come out in support of the board, but still has been vague about its purpose and salient details. Either the different sections of the executive branch are not communicating with each other or are playing dumb.

Jen Psaki initially claimed not to even know who Nina Jankowicz was.

The White House also has not indicated how it will have the authority to edit the content on private platforms like Twitter. The Disinformation board has also not explained how it will not run afoul of the First Amendment with every action it takes. It is one thing when the tech platforms censor their own user base.

It is unlikely that the Disinformation Governance Board will survive scrutiny in the courts, especially when they attempt to edit private citizens’ content.