Feds Funded Efforts to Blacklist Conservative News Websites

Feds Funded Efforts to Blacklist Conservative News Websites

(RightWing.org) – The US is supposed to have a free press, and the First Amendment is supposed to prevent the government from censoring the media. However, investigative journalists have uncovered a State Department plan to shut down conservative news sites by funding a British “anti-disinformation” group. It’s not censorship — legally, at least — but it’s still silencing media outlets the government doesn’t like.

On February 9, the Washington Examiner launched a series of articles investigating the disinformation tracking industry. It revealed how groups are making lists of websites they claim are spreading “disinformation” and then passing those lists to advertisers. If enough advertisers pull out of a website, it can lose its main revenue source and be forced to close down. It’s an indirect way to silence a media outlet, but it can be an effective one.

One of the leading tracking groups is the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a UK-based nonprofit. It’s closely linked to two similar US groups, which are largely run by the same people — and those people are left-leaning. GDI’s funders include George Soros’s Open Society organization.

Now we know, in the past, it was also funded by the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC). Until the start of 2022, the GEC ran a project called Disinfo Cloud, which is now independent, and GDI’s website lists Disinfo Cloud as a funder.

What this means is US taxpayer money was going to a foreign left-wing activist group, which in turn was pressuring businesses to pull their ads from conservative media sites.

Outlets targeted by GDI include the Washington Examiner and Breitbart News. Any criticism of vaccines, mask mandates, abortion or the 2020 presidential election can get a media site labeled as “disinformation,” but GDI refuses to release its exclusion lists — so outlets generally don’t know advertisers are being told to avoid them.

Former State Department official Mike Benz says the goal of the disinformation tracking industry is to destroy the credibility of the conservative media, and the US government was paying them to do it.

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