Companies are being steered away from spending advertising dollars with conservative news websites by what's been labeled a "stealth blacklisting operation."
The Global Disinformation Index, based in the United Kingdom, says its mission is "to disrupt the business model of disinformation. To reduce disinformation, we need to remove the financial incentive to create it."
Conservative Websites Blacklisted
The Index has the potential to economically strangle some conservative websites.
Investigative reporter Gabe Kaminsky uncovered the operation for the Washington Examiner. He told us, "GDI compiles a secretive, dynamic exclusion list, essentially a blacklist of the websites that it determines to be the biggest purveyors of disinformation online."
The Global Disinformation Index lists what it calls the 10 "riskiest" websites for companies on which companies could advertise. All are conservative or libertarian, including the New York Post, Reason, The Daily Wire, and The American Conservative. They are accused of "lack of transparency," "bias," or "omissions of pertinent information."
We asked the Senior Editor at The American Conservative, Rod Dreher, for his response to the claim his website is "risky." Dreher said, "My response is, we are an opinion magazine. Of course, we're biased. Liberal opinion magazines are biased too."
GDI Was Partially Funded by the U.S. Government
No liberal or "mainstream" media websites are listed as "risky" by the Index, which is funded by several foundations, including George Soros' so-called Open Society Foundations and even the U.S. Government, through the National Endowment for Democracy. Or at least it was until members of Congress got wind and the funding was canceled.
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This is only the latest wave of cancel culture to hit conservatives, who have already been shadow-banned, de-platformed, de-banked and even mentioned for deprogramming. On Real Time with Bill Maher in 2021, Katie Couric famously asked, "The question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people?"
As conservatives began to be banned from social media, they thought that at least they would be safe on their own websites. But the censors have followed.
The Next Phase of Censorship Against 'Deplorables'
While Republicans in Congress are vowing to investigate the Global Disinformation Index, Dreher, the author of The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, does not believe this censorship campaign will stop anytime soon.
"Because the other side, they're motivated by a religious fervor. They are fighting evil. And you can't tolerate evil. They have identified the enemy. The enemy are those who were so-called 'deplorables,' including conservative Christians and others who they will deem to be threats, and therefore they can be marginalized."
The recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine even features an article called, "Why Cancel Culture is Good for Democracy."
Stephen Soukup, author of The Dictatorship of Woke Capital: How Political Correctness Captured Big Business, says corporate America is easy prey for programs like the Global Disinformation Index.
Soukup said, "This is a continuation of a trend in American history, of an elite ruling class that believes that they know better. And that they're taking care of the poor, stupid, American people who don't understand what they really need and what they really want and what's really best for them."
The '1792 Exchange' Rates Corporate Bias
In an attempt to fight back against corporate cancel culture, the 1792 Exchange recently released its Spotlight Report: Corporate Bias Ratings. It rates more than a thousand companies on their likelihood to cancel a contract or client, or deny services based on a person's beliefs.
The 'Generational Divide' Over Free Speech
The future could see even more censorship. A Manhattan Institute study found that while the American public leans two-to-one in favor of free speech, most Americans under 30 favor censorship when speech "hurts" certain groups.
Dreher said, "Free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, all the First Amendment freedoms, they are overwhelmingly intolerant of these freedoms if the exercise of those freedoms stands to hurt a vulnerable minority."
We invited the Global Disinformation Index to answer the charges made against it, but they did not respond. They're now being accused of spreading misinformation themselves, for warning advertisers to blacklist news sites that blamed the COVID pandemic on a lab leak in China, a claim the FBI and now the U.S. Department of Energy believe to be true.
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