Federal Government Weaponization Faces Heated Debate Over National Science Foundation’s Spending on Misinformation Projects

In a contentious hearing held on Tuesday by the House Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, tensions flared as Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz clashed with former Obama-era official Norman Eisen. The focus of the disagreement revolved around the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) allocation of millions of dollars in grants to combat mis- and disinformation using technology.

Gaetz specifically challenged Eisen about a grant awarded to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), alleging that it categorized individuals in rural communities, military families, and those who consider the Bible and Constitution sacred as susceptible to misinformation. Gaetz argued that these people would be deemed in a “separate and diminished class” by the grants issued by the NSF.


Eisen disputed Gaetz’s interpretation, leading to a back-and-forth exchange. Gaetz further highlighted another grant that suggested susceptibility to misinformation for individuals in military families and rural areas, asserting that government funds were being misused to harm these specific groups.

The discussion took a turn as Gaetz likened the situation to the film “Minority Report,” where technology is used to predict and prevent crimes before they occur. Drawing parallels, Gaetz expressed concern about the government funding predictive analytics that target specific demographics, arguing that it amounted to the weaponization of information to control behavior.

Eisen, however, insisted on considering the broader context of the committee’s investigation and emphasized the need for a comprehensive understanding of the materials presented.

The NSF had reportedly spent $38.8 million on projects related to misinformation as of February 19, 2023. These projects included grants to various universities, such as the University of Houston, aiming to develop tools to address misinformation through initiatives like a “social media misinformation interactive dashboard.”

The NSF, established in 1950, is an independent federal agency supporting science and engineering across all states and territories. While claiming to prioritize national health, prosperity, and defense, the agency primarily achieves its objectives by allocating grants to higher education institutions, a fact that has sparked scrutiny and debate within the House Committee hearing.

Watch Gaetz confront John Durham on his handling of the Russian collusion investigation 

‘Get over yourself’: Gaetz zings an apparent heckler 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *