The Leftist Censorship Brigade Is Terrified of Us

(AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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The progressive left, which once had a passionate love affair with the idea of free speech, has long ago abandoned its former mistress in favor of authoritarian tactics designed to suppress opposing viewpoints.

Over the past decade, leftists have led the charge to use whatever resources they have at their disposal to limit the reach of conservatives and libertarians on Big Tech platforms and social media companies. These actions were taken because those on the right figured out how to leverage alternative media to reach a wider audience instead of being subject to the gatekeepers in establishment media outlets.

Now, folks on the right don’t have to rely on left-leaning entities to platform them nor do they only have to depend on talk radio as a means of getting their message out. Through news sites, podcasts, and video sharing services, they can continue to reach more of the public. This is why progressives have employed biased censorship practices to stop this from happening.

But now, a Washington Examiner report has revealed that the left is ramping up its attacks on right-leaning news sites in an effort to prevent them from earning revenue through advertising. This was already happening to a certain extent on sites like Facebook and Twitter. But the news outlet found that others are jumping into the game.

The report centers on the Global Disinformation Index, a British organization owned by Microsoft, that is flagging conservative/libertarian news sites and trying to have them defunded, according to industry whistleblowers who spoke with the Washington Examiner.

From the report:

The Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a British organization with two affiliated U.S. nonprofit groups, is feeding secret blacklists to ad companies, such as Xandr , with the intent of shutting down websites peddling alleged “disinformation.” Now, sets of documents and emails leaked to the Washington Examiner shed light on how Xandr, which Microsoft bought in 2021 for $1 billion, has targeted disfavored speech and blocked conservative websites from reaping key ad dollars.

“Xandr’s use of politically motivated flags on this blacklist stands outside of the norm in advertising,” said a senior executive at an ad company, who also explained that the true purpose of blacklisting is to keep companies from advertising “on content that is illegal, fraudulent, [or] low-quality.”

“In this case, Xandr prevented us from talking to our voters in the critical days leading up to Election Day,” the executive said. “Our audience reads the Examiner, Daily Wire, Townhall, etc. Voters go to these news & opinion sites [to] inform their decisions. And if Microsoft is using their technology to block us from showing ads on these websites, they’re actively preventing us from talking to voters on the public squares where their decisions are being informed.”

GDI’s blacklist includes 2,000 domains that supposedly “traffic in disinformation.” The organization sends Xandr a list of these sites each month.

There are several conservative-leaning sites on the list, including the Washington Examiner, Newsmax, the Daily Wire, Reason, the New York Post, and many others. In fact, RedState was also on the list. These sites are flagged as “false/misleading” according to GDI.

One of Xandr’s employees informed publishers in September 2022 that the company was using GDI’s list to exclude sites that publish content deemed to be “’morally reprehensible or patently offensive,’ or lacking ‘redeeming social value,’ or ‘include false or misleading information.’”

“Domains or apps that GDI has classified as a disinformation site will be added to Xandr’s global blocklist, preventing spend to those domains or apps,” the individual wrote in an email. “Creatives that have domains or apps assigned to it from the blocklist will not pass Audit. This is the same process that exists today for domains or apps that Xandr and our partners have deemed as not passing our existing inventory quality standards (e.g. violence, malware, porn, etc).”

Of course, there is also a pattern when it comes to sites the GDI dubs the “least risky.” You already know where this is going, don’t you?

This list includes NPR, ProPublica, the Associated Press, Insider, the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News, the Wall Street Journal, and HuffPost.

All of these, with the exception of the Wall Street Journal, are left-leaning news outlets.

What’s even worse about this affair is that GDI is one of several outfits that the federal government is paying to suppress conservative content. So far, the State Department has paid GDI $330,000 in grants.

The revelation that Xandr has its own blacklist of conservative websites comes after the Washington Examiner reported that the State Department granted $330,000 to GDI.

The left appears to be pulling out all the stops to limit the reach of conservative/libertarian alternative media outlets. The fact that the government is funding the attack against news outlets that oppose much of what the current regime is trying to do is even more egregious.

But the question is: Can right-leaning media survive this latest attack? The answer is: Most likely. This is not the first time the left has tried to go after advertising revenue. One thing that these sites have shown they can do is adapt to whatever strategy the left is using at the moment. We have done it in the past, and we will do so now.

Perhaps one day the left will wake up and realize that debate is a much healthier strategy for dealing with those with whom they disagree – but I wouldn’t hold my breath.


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