- Left-wing billionaire Pierre Omidyar’s nonprofit provided funding for a “portal” linked to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aimed at flagging and removing “misinformation” on social media platforms relating to the 2020 election, according to documents obtained by independent journalist Lee Fang.
- The Center for Internet Security, a nonprofit organization focused on cybersecurity, partnered with election officials and a component of DHS to facilitate the reporting of “misinformation” during the 2020 general election through its “reporting portal,” as revealed in a CIS report obtained by Fang.
- “Through the support of a grant from the Democracy Fund, CIS began developing a web- based interactive platform, the Misinformation Reporting Portal (MiRP) as a means for facilitating interaction between election officials and their representatives CISA, CIS, and social media platforms,” the CIS report stated.
A nonprofit founded by left-wing billionaire Pierre Omidyar funded a government-linked “portal” that was used to flag and censor social media content containing “misinformation” during the 2020 election, according to documents obtained by independent journalist Lee Fang.
Center for Internet Security (CIS), a nonprofit that advocates solutions to help safeguard against online threats, collaborated with election officials and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which is a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to report misinformation during the 2020 general election, according to a CIS report Fang obtained. Omidyar’s Democracy Fund provided a $130,000 grant to CIS with the stated purpose of “program support for Elections Security Best Practices Project,” according to 2020 tax records obtained by Fang.
“Through the support of a grant from the Democracy Fund, CIS began developing a web- based interactive platform, the Misinformation Reporting Portal (MiRP) as a means for facilitating interaction between election officials and their representatives CISA, CIS, and social media platforms,” the CIS report states.
CISA has a panel called the Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Misinformation and Disinformation Subcommittee, which issued recommendations in June 2022 on how to address threats to “critical functions” of democracy, including elections.
“CISA does not censor speech, period,” the agency told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “CISA’s mission is to build resilience to disinformation and foreign malign influence activities that threaten critical infrastructure, including election infrastructure. We work in a non-partisan manner with state and local election officials to equip the American public with accurate information about the conduct and security of their elections. Online content platform operators, as always, make their own decisions regarding the content on their platforms.”
I have a new document showing that a billionaire Biden donor funded the “misinformation reporting” portal used by the Dept. of Homeland Security to flag tweets for censorship during the 2020 election. I obtained this report from a public records request. pic.twitter.com/EguMPFM8ZK
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) June 8, 2023
The CIS’s MiRP handled 209 cases during the 2020 election and 61% of them “resulted in positive action,” meaning the posts were taken down or labeled, according to the CIS report. There was an increase in misinformation submissions around the time the actual election occurred, as over half were within 10 days of it.
Some examples on election day were “claims that typical machine issues were nefarious and intended to sway the election” and “claims that typical election operations (e.g., movement of ballots) were improper and/or nefarious,” according to the CIS report. On election night, there were reports of misinformation on “claims of ballot ‘stuffing,’” “claims of intentional restriction of poll watchers” and “claims of manipulation of results by voting systems or super computers.”
CIS and CISA collaborated to make sure that the submissions were promptly sent to the respective social media platform within one hour of receipt, most often Facebook and Twitter, according to the report. Facebook and Twitter accounted for 80% of the reported cases.
“In addition to sharing all reports with CISA, some reports were shared with the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the CIS report stated.
The Omidyar Network, a social change investment firm, also funded Accountable Tech, which led an effort to pressure advertisers to stop buying ads on Twitter after Tesla CEO Elon Musk purchased the platform, according to the project’s website. The Omidyar Network contributed four grants ranging from $12,825 to $209,500 between October 2022 and March 2023, according to a grant database.
Omidyar also funded a constellation of advocacy groups and campaigns going after Facebook for its alleged adverse impacts on users, including the proliferation of “hate speech” and “misinformation” on the platform. The eBay founder contributed money to MediaJustice and Free Press and Kairos, which are all members of the Disinfo Defense League, a group that aims to “disrupt online racialized disinformation” and campaigns to “stop the spread of racist and bigoted content designed to demean, divide, disorient and harm our communities.”
Additionally, Omidyar contributed $45 million to a project called Civic Action Fund, which was sponsored by dark money organization Sixteen Thirty Fund, which supported President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential bid, according to Politico.
CIS, Democracy Fund and Omidyar Network did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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