The Department of Homeland Security’s proposed board to fight disinformation about U.S. border policies and elections on social media and elsewhere has generated controversy in some quarters since it first came to light. But according to the latest Morning Consult/Politico survey, at least half of voters support the board’s mission in both areas, as do social media users.
Respondents were asked whether they support or oppose the Department of Homeland Security’s proposal to create a board to fight disinformation on …
What the numbers say
- Two in 3 Democrats said they supported the proposed board’s role on border policies, while 3 in 4 said they backed its efforts against disinformation about elections. Comparatively, just 35% of Republicans backed the board’s role on border policies, while 33% said they supported its focus on election disinformation.
- About half of users of various social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and SnapChat — also favored the disinformation board for border policies (50%) and elections (53%).
- Voters who listed security as their most important issue were far less supportive of the disinformation board. Just 39% of those voters said they backed the board’s role on border policies, while 37% said they supported its role in combating election disinformation. In a fact sheet, DHS said the board’s role is to fight disinformation threats against national security, and that its agencies have been doing so for almost a decade.
Why it matters
Republican lawmakers have pushed back hard against the creation of a disinformation board, with letters to DHS objecting to it and by introducing legislation that would block its creation and defund related efforts at the agency.
Lawmakers have alleged that the board’s function is too vague, while another letter from more than 170 House Republicans said they have “ethical concerns about an organization charged with securing the homeland engaging in anything that could have an impact on speech.”
DHS noted in its fact sheet that the disinformation board proposal was established “with the explicit goal” of protecting free speech and civil liberties, and ensuring that “rigorous safeguards” are in place.
The May 13-16, 2022, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,005 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.