Millions in DHS Terrorism Prevention Grants go to Promote Media Literacy, Combat Disinformation
The agency created after 9/11 to protect the nation from another terrorist attack is giving nonprofits, local governments, and academic institutions millions of dollars to promote media literacy and combat what the Biden administration considers to be “disinformation.” Among the recipients of the grants awarded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a center founded by former President Jimmy Carter to implement a “media literacy curriculum” designed to mitigate the harms presented by disinformation. In all, DHS will dole out around $7 million for its new media literacy campaign, which is part of a broader and handsomely funded initiative called Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Program (TVTP) launched in 2020 to “prevent targeted violence and terrorism.”
This year DHS is doling out $20 million in grants to dozens of recipients to meet TVTP’s mission of preventing incidents of domestic violent extremism, as well as to bolster efforts to counter online radicalization and mobilization to violence. In the press release announcing the $20 million investment, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the agency is equipping local communities and organizations, including those “historically underserved,” with needed resources to become more effective partners to strengthen security and help Americans feel safe and secure. In the announcement DHS reveals that it encouraged applicants from diverse groups and conducted extensive outreach to a variety of public and nonprofit sectors. In fact, the agency writes that among this year’s priorities is “advancing equity in awards and engaging underserved communities in prevention.”
A chunk of the TVTP money—$7 million—will be dedicated to the media literacy campaign, which will focus largely on combatting “misinformation and disinformation.” The Carter Center, which was founded by the former Democratic president, is getting $99,372 to implement its media literacy curriculum. The goal is to address the gap in media literacy education in the United States within a targeted violence and terrorism prevention context to demonstrate the effectiveness in mitigating the harms presented by disinformation, according to DHS. “This partnership would allow The Carter Center to deploy its curriculum modules over a two-year period in multiple classroom settings targeting a wide population aged 18 to 60 years old,” DHS writes in its recent announcement. “Media literacy trainings build capacities in evaluating media sources, assessing media intent, interpreting media messages, understanding how the brain processes information, understanding how online media shapes perception, recognizing false and misleading information, investigating suspicious claims, and practicing good media hygiene.”
The University of Rhode Island will receive $701,612 to combat disinformation, conspiracy theories and propaganda that have become large-scale social problems shaping the ways citizens view facts, define truth, and make decisions, according to DHS. The university will use the taxpayer dollars to create initiatives that help people critically analyze information, digital media, and popular culture to benefit all members of society by “diminishing the appeal of us-vs-them thinking that activates strong emotions and oversimplifies ideas and information.” The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will get $750,000 to create an “educational digital game” designed to help students understand different strategies used to spread disinformation and combat it at the institutional level. The Uran Rural Action, a group that strives for a “more inclusive democracy” across ideological and racial differences, will receive $769,190 to create a “Local Prevention Framework.”
Above is just a sample of the groups that will fill their coffers with public funds for this fictitious crisis created by the Biden administration to control information. Many more are getting six figures from the government for this nonsense. “Disinformation, conspiracy theories, and propaganda have become large-scale social problems, shaping the way citizens view facts, define truth, and make decisions,” according to the DHS grant document.