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How can we learn to fight against disinformation?

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden launched a Homeland Security Disinformation Governance Board to deal with the serious, national threat of disinformation, information created with the intent to inflict damage using deceit.  He called on Nina Jankowicz to lead that effort.  She is an expert on Russia, Ukraine and disinformation, having served in Kyiv as a Fulbright Fellow and having advised the Ukraine on strategic communications in the aftermath of the 2014 crisis in Crimea. 

Ms. Jankowicz resigned from the board after a few weeks, feeling compelled to do so because of professional criticisms and personal threats. A number of states’ Attorneys General mounted legal action against the administration, claiming the board amounted to an Orwellian Ministry of Truth and would suppress the free speech rights of Americans. Ms. Jankowicz says people were mistaken and did not grasp the true purpose of the board. She remains committed to fighting disinformation and the harms it can inflict. 

Gary Lawkowski is an attorney with the Dhillon Law Group in Alexandria. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Free Speech. Mr. Lawkowski says that the best defense against disinformation is more free speech, and he says that the marketplace of ideas and free communication must be left free to combat disinformation. Mr. Lawkowski served as an intern at the Department of Homeland Security during his time as a University of Virginia Law Student. He has testified before a Congressional Committee on the imperative of protecting freedom of expression, even in the face of disinformation and misinformation, because it is foundational for all of America’s other freedoms.