Using taxpayer dollars to fund games, VR projects, and other projects that combat “disinformation.”
Despite shutting down its “Disinformation Governance Board” after First Amendment violation concerns, the United States (US) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is still handing out millions in grants in order to combat “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and “conspiracy theories.”
The DHS has previously claimed that online misinformation is a terror threat and these grants were made in a similar vein and doled out as part of a “Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program.”
In total, over $3 million of taxpayer money was handed over to universities, think tanks, and nonprofits who will use the money to fund projects that fight what they deem to be misinformation and disinformation.
The University of Rhode Island was given $701,612 for its “Media Literacy and Online Critical Thinking Initiatives” and “Youth Resilience Programs.” The description for this grant claims that “disinformation, conspiracy theories, and propaganda have become large-scale social problems” and says that part of the funds from the grant will be used for “online and face-to-face dialogues [that] help demonstrate how to critically analyze propaganda, disinformation, and domestic extremism.”
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a quasi-government entity and think tank that produces research that informs public policy, was granted $750,000 for its “Raising Societal Awareness,” “Civic Engagement,” and “Media Literacy and Online Critical Thinking” initiatives. The grant will be used to “develop an educational digital game and supportive materials for educating students in secondary schools in Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101 (ESD 101) in Washington State on disinformation.” The game and its learning program will “help students understand different strategies used to spread disinformation by malignant actors” and provide “a hands-on learning experience around strategies and policies to combat disinformation at the institutional level.”
Read More: DHS is spending millions to combat “misinformation”