This is the second part of a Washington Examiner investigative series about self-styled ‘disinformation’ tracking groups that are cracking down on conservative media and part of a lucrative operation that aims to defund disfavored speech. To read part one, click here.
The Department of State has funded a deep-pocketed “disinformation” tracking group that is secretly blacklisting and trying to defund conservative media, likely costing the news organizations vital advertising dollars, the Washington Examiner can confirm.
The Global Disinformation Index, a British organization with two affiliated U.S. nonprofit groups, is feeding blacklists to ad companies with the intent of defunding and shutting down websites peddling alleged “disinformation,” the Washington Examiner reported . This same “disinformation” group has received $330,000 from two State Department-backed entities linked to the highest levels of government, raising concerns from First Amendment lawyers and members of Congress.
“Any outfit like that engaged in censorship shouldn’t have any contact with the government because they’re tainted by association with a group that is doing something fundamentally against American values,” Jeffrey Clark, ex-acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, told the Washington Examiner. “The government or any private entity shouldn’t be involved with this entity that’s engaged in conduct that is either legally questionable or at least morally questionable.”
GDI compiles a “dynamic exclusion list” that it feeds to corporate entities, such as the Microsoft -owned advertising company Xandr, emails show. Xandr and other companies are, in turn, declining to place ads on websites that GDI flags as peddling disinformation.
The Washington Examiner revealed on Thursday that it is on this exclusion list. The list includes at least 2,000 websites and has “had a significant impact on the advertising revenue that has gone to those sites,” said GDI’s CEO Clare Melford on a March 2022 podcast.
GDI has identified that the 10 “riskiest” news outlets for disinformation are the American Spectator, Newsmax, the Federalist, the American Conservative, One America News, the Blaze, the Daily Wire, RealClearPolitics, Reason, and the New York Post. (Read more: The Washington Examiner, 2/09/2023) (Archive)