Microsoft Changes Controversial Conservative News Blacklist

Microsoft Changes Controversial Conservative News Blacklist

( – Is big tech starting to back away from its anti-conservative stance? Microsoft’s advertising subsidiary has removed flags from right-wing media sites and suspended its subscription to the anti-“disinformation” group that imposed them. That’s good news for websites that have been losing ad revenue because of a behind-the-scenes campaign to censor them.

According to an ongoing series of investigative articles by the Washington Examiner, which we recently told you about, major tech companies have been subscribing to website lists from groups like the Global DIsinformation Index (GDI), a UK-based nonprofit whose mission is to defund websites they claim are spreading false information online. Rather than direct censorship, these groups work by scaring advertisers away from the targeted sites, which tend to be conservative-leaning.

Now, advertising industry whistleblowers have started speaking out about these lists — and tech companies are getting spooked. On February 13, the Examiner revealed that Xandr, a Microsoft subsidiary that sells digital advertising space, has suspended its subscription to GDI and is reviewing its relationship with the nonprofit.

It’s also deleted all of GDI’s targeting flags from websites — so up to 2,000 mainly conservative sites, including the Daily Wire, Breitbart, Judicial Watch and the Examiner itself, are no longer marked with tags like “false/misleading” or “reprehensible/offensive.” A Xandr insider has shown the Examiner its latest list of websites, and with the exception of a “hate speech” tag on Breitbart TV, the flags are all gone. An industry executive has also confirmed that Xandr has removed GDI’s flags.

On February 11, a Microsoft spokesman said the company takes “a principled approach to accuracy” and is reviewing how it flags sites. While that review is ongoing, Xandr “has stopped using GDI’s services.”

Republican lawmakers have already raised concerns about the shadowy “disinformation tracking” industry, which focuses heavily on conservative media outlets. Last week Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX) called for stricter accounting of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center after it emerged the organization had paid GDI $330,000 of US taxpayers’ money. Not only have these activist groups been censoring the news through the back door, the Biden administration has been paying them to do it.

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