The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is doubling down on a recently revealed policy of tying the issue of domestic terrorism with online “misinformation,” as well as keeping an extra eye on trucker protests.
The document derived from an event that spelled all this out, which first appeared on February 7 as a bulletin, detailing the allegedly heightened threats the US is facing – not least because of “an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories.”
What was until recently typical of media op-eds and Twitter exchanges has evidently seeped into official policy, so the DHS now explicitly fears that “misleading narratives” found on the internet have the power to undermine trust in US government, not to mention branding free expression and political differences as dangerous “discord.”
Meanwhile, what is sowing true discord – Covid mandates – are mentioned not as a problem in and of itself, but simply something that gives rise to said “misleading narratives.”
“For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021,” reads the bulletin.
A week later, after this particular take on the situation raised some eyebrows in the Senate, DHS Counter-Terrorism Coordinator John Cohen is defending the document.
Reports, including in the Washington Times, say that Senator Marsha Blackburn described this particular DHS policy as speech policing, while the nonpartisan Center to Advance Security in America (CASA) wants to know more about the department’s “methodology” in coming up with all this.