The Biden administration is being accused of laundering its censorship activities by spending millions of dollars on funding research to suppress so-called “misinformation” online and has reportedly attempted to conceal these efforts following reporting on the issue, according to a House Judiciary Committee report published on Tuesday.
On Feb. 19, 2023, the Daily Caller reported that President Joe Biden’s National Science Foundation (NSF) was reportedly given funding for “misinformation” research in a plan entitled “Track F.” The report included links to videos of the NSF’s efforts.
In the House Judiciary Committee’s report, it was revealed that the day after the Daily Caller’s report was published, NSF program manager Michael Pozmantier sent an email declaring he was “going to see about pulling them [the videos] down or locking the page ASAP.”
The agency had spent $38.8 million on research initiatives to counter the supposed “misinformation” online from the time Biden took office in January 2021 to November 2022, according to the Daily Caller’s report, which cited the Foundation For Freedom Online (FFO). Since then, the NSF has awarded more grants to combat so-called “misinformation” and “disinformation,” the majority of which fall under the “Convergence Accelerator Track F: Trust & Authenticity in Communication Systems” or “Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC),” the outlet explained.
The House Judiciary Committee noted in its report that the “purpose of these taxpayer-funded projects is to develop artificial intelligence (AI)- powered censorship and propaganda tools that can be used by governments and Big Tech to shape public opinion by restricting certain viewpoints or promoting others.”
One example of the funding includes a $50,000 grant to the University of Houston in December 2022 to establish a “social media misinformation interactive dashboard” to “forecast trends and analysis to help address the misinformation endemic in America.”
The House Judiciary Committee also revealed that researchers led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) declared in a project proposal summary to the NSF that “broad swaths of the public cannot effectively sort truth from fiction online.”
The MIT researchers claimed that the Americans who are most vulnerable to so-called misinformation were “rural and indigenous communities,” “military veterans, older adults, and military families” and “older adults.”
This project proposal summary landed the MIT researchers a $750,000 grant from the NSF to create propaganda tools to “educate” these supposedly vulnerable Americans, according to the House Judiciary Committee report.
The NSF also tried to conceal these initiatives on multiple occasions, the House Judiciary Committee noted, explaining that the agency even developed a media strategy and considered making a list of conservative media outlets to refuse to correspond with.
Meanwhile, the NSF has issued a statement denying the accusations made in the committee’s report.
“NSF did not at any point attempt to conceal or mislead the public, Congress, or the media about its Track F Program or any of its other investments,” an NSF spokesperson claimed in a statement. “The ‘media strategy’ referenced in the committee’s report was done counter to the official NSF Media Policy and without the input or knowledge of NSF Leadership and is not being used by NSF. NSF continues to prioritize outreach and transparency to the entire American public so they can see firsthand how that investment has improved their everyday lives … NSF has been working with the House Judiciary Committee to address their concerns and will continue to do so on the requests outlined in this report.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, has since subpoenaed the NSF “for its role in the censorship of Americans,” according to a Weaponization subcommittee post on X, formerly known as Twitter.