The state’s Homeland Security Preparedness Agency has added monkeypox information to its disinformation portal, a webpage aimed at correcting false information found in social media posts.
The former FBI agent who runs the program spoke with News 12 New Jersey on Thursday to discuss what his team has determined to be false information and what the office does when it does.
Tom Hauck, NJOHSP Director of Intelligence and Operations, said:
From Russia’s war with Ukraine to monkeypox to the 2020 election, Hauck says it’s easy to find false and misleading information online.
NJOHSP operates an online resource of factual information for New Jersey residents. However, it also scans social media posts. Hauck said the team is looking for “information that incites violence, threatens life, calls to action, or has a credible link to terrorism.” .
Hauck said his office could ask social media companies to remove posts they believe spread misinformation, but it hasn’t done so yet.
“I think it’s a case of real harm, due diligence, and painstaking analysis and research,” Hauck says. “Certainly, I can say that this is disinformation and it will do harm. I think it is appropriate.”
The Murphy administration set up disinformation portals as COVID-19 hit in 2020, fueling disinformation and conspiracy theories.
Democratic Senator Andrew Zwicker said:
Zwicker was an advocate for privacy rights.
“You can’t scream fire in a movie theater, but that’s easy. Now it’s this gray area we’re talking about, and it’s much harder to understand,” says Zwicker. .
Hauck said he didn’t have to worry about NJOHSP being done through his personal account.
“We don’t go through private accounts. This is something that goes public on public forums,” Hauck said.