by Zero Hedge
The US Department of State has been funding a “disinformation” tracking group through its Global Engagement Center (GEC), which reportedly works at demonetizing sites it accuses of disseminating “disinformation,” – which are overwhelmingly conservative news outlets, the Washington Examiner reports.
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.
GDI through its website maintains a “dynamic exclusion list” of the worst offenders of disinformation online, which it then distributes to ad tech companies – such as Microsoft’s Xandr – in order to try and “defund and downrank these worst offenders,” and deprive said sites of ad revenue.
According to The American Conserviative executive director Emily Doak, “They might consider TAC a ‘high-risk’ publication because we have consistently taken on the bipartisan establishment’s sacred cows, whether it’s the war in Iraq, nation-building in Afghanistan, or the harm done by free trade and open borders — and we’ve been proven right time and time again,” adding “They know they can’t say we’re wrong, only that we’re biased and ‘high-risk,’ so we will wear that designation as a badge of honor.”
In 2018, the GEC began funding Disinfo Cloud, a State Department spokesperson told the Washington Examiner. The GEC awarded roughly $300,000 to an investment group called Park Advisers, which fights “disinformation, terrorism, violent extremism, hate speech” to manage Disinfo Cloud, the spokesperson said.
Park Advisers implemented Disinfo Cloud “to provide the U.S. government and its partners with a database of the tools and technologies available to help push back against foreign propaganda and disinformation,” according to its website, which links to Disinfo Cloud’s former landing page that has since been pulled off the internet. -Washington Examiner
One State Department-funded group which supports GDI is the nonprofit National Endowment for Democracy, which receives nearly 100% of its funding from congressional appropriations ($300 million in 2021), which critics have argued is essentially giving money to a government grantmaking body despite its status as a private entity.
In 2020, $230,000 went from the NED to the AN foundation, a GDI group that also goes by the Disinformation Index Foundation. The grant was to “deepen understanding of the challenges to information integrity in the digital space” in Asia, Africa and other foreign countries, and to “assess disinformation risks of local online media ecosystems.”
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