House Bill Pulls Plug on Biden’s AI Censorship R&D Funding

Craig Bannister | June 6, 2024
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A House bill seeks to stop the Biden Administration from continuing to spend taxpayer money to fund development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools that will censor online content the government wants to dismiss as “disinformation.”

H.R. 8519, sponsored by more than two dozen House Republicans, is an 83-word bill defunding the federal government’s online censorship research:


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,


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.

NSF’s Track F program is identified as a grave threat to online free speech in a report by the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The report details specific examples of how the program spends tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to fund development of ways AI can be used to censor online speech.

“As the distributor of multi-million-dollar grants, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is a key player in the ‘censorship industrial complex,’” the report says:

“In recent years, under the guise of combatting so-called misinformation, NSF has been funding AI-driven tools and other new technologies that can be used to censor or propagandize online speech.”

As the report explains, the Biden Administration’s program is actually a purveyor of disinformation (emphasis added):

“In March 2021, NSF introduced Track F: Trust & Authenticity in Communication Systems, 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 is the NSF ‘Accelerator track focused on combatting mis/disinformation.’”

In particular, the grants have funded the research, development and use of AI tools to:

  • Monitor 750,000 blogs and media articles daily as well and mine data from the major social media platforms.
  • Help Big Tech handle and outsource the “responsibility of censorship” on social media.
  • Help platform policy-makers with “externalizing the difficult responsibility of censorship.”
  • Decide for social media platforms whether or not specific content is “true,” in order to aid in “a platform’s decision procedures.”
  • Help social media platforms take “enforcement action against misinformation.”
  • Determine what content is misinformation “that deserves enforcement.”
  • Inform “misinformation interventions.”


Grantees have also emphasized how their AI tools are used to monitor and respond to “common misinformation narratives,” such as those:

  • “Undermining trust in mainstream media” or
  • Providing “delegitimizing information” regarding “election integrity and vaccine efficacy” on social media.


Like the Track F projects, the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program, also defunded by the bill, focused on countering so-called “(mis/dis)information online.”

"If a Member of Congress's account can be censored on the pretext of combatting 'misinformation', 'disinformation', or 'malinformation', it can be done to anyone's account," H.R. 8519 sponsor Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) warns in a press release announcing his introduction of the bill.

“The government's censorship efforts even extended to accurate tweets I posted to my official congressional Twitter account," Rep. Massie says.