Last Updated on June 6, 2024

Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie introduced a bill today to end the Biden Administration’s endless cashflow for developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools for so-called “disinformation.”

The mere 83-word bill, H.R. 8519, lays out the House Republicans’ plan to defund the federal government’s online censorship research:

A BILL

To prohibit the obligation or expenditure of Federal funds for disinformation research grants, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. PROHIBITION.

No Federal funds may be obligated or expended by any Federal department or agency for the following:

(1) Disinformation research grants.

(2) Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace grants.

(3) Programs within the National Science Foundation’s Track F: Trust and Authenticity in Communications Systems.

The aforementioned NSF’s Track F program was identified as a threat to online free speech in a report by the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government in February 2024.

“As the distributor of multi-million-dollar grants, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is a key player in the ‘censorship industrial complex” acting “under the guise of combatting so-called misinformation,” read the report. “NSF has been funding AI-driven tools and other new technologies that can be used to censor or propagandize online speech.”

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“In March 2021, NSF introduced Track F: Trust & Authenticity in CommunicationSystems, allocating $21 million to the program. For Track F, NSF solicited proposals to address the manipulation or ‘unanticipated negative effects’ of communication systems—a departure from the Convergence Accelerator program’s other, more concrete research topics.

“The euphemistic ‘trust and authenticity in communication systems,’ in fact, means combatting so-called ‘misinformation,’ i.e., censorship. In an early draft solicitation, NSF indicated that Track F projects will ‘address issues of trust and authenticity in communication systems, including predicting, preventing, detecting, correcting, and mitigating the spread of inaccurate information that harms people and society.’ As NSF’s Track F program manager, Michael Pozmantier, explained more plainly in a June 2021 email, Track F isthe NSF ‘Accelerator track focused on combatting mis/disinformation.’”

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According to the Media Research Center, taxpayer-funded grants have been used to research and develop AI tools to monitor 750,000 blogs and media articles daily while mining data from social media platforms. The MRC said some of the stated reasons for such research are to lessen the responsibility of corporate tech platforms, “externalize” censorship, aid in adding needed or “true” context and action to enforce against misinformation.

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