Oracle Ends Relationship With Global Disinformation Index Over Free Speech Concerns

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Finally, there is some more good news in the battle for free speech. The Global Disinformation Index has taken yet another hit after being exposed for its campaign to limit the reach of conservative and libertarian views online.

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Oracle, the multinational software company, has announced that it is ending its relationship with the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a group that has been secretly blacklisting conservative media outlets. The decision comes after a review by Oracle, which stated that its services must be in full support of free speech.

“After conducting a review, we agree with others in the advertising industry that the services we provide marketers must be in full support of free speech, which is why we are ending our relationship with GDI,” Michael Egbert, vice president for corporate communications at Oracle, announced in a statement given to the Washington Examiner.

In 2021, Oracle announced a partnership with GDI “to help marketers safeguard ad spend and protect brands from inadvertently supporting disinformation sites.” However, GDI has faced criticism from conservatives and Republican lawmakers for its efforts to suppress conservative media by using its blacklist of conservative sites to persuade companies not to advertise with them.

This move by Oracle follows a similar decision by Microsoft, which temporarily severed ties with GDI’s blacklist group. The company has also come under scrutiny for hiding critical information on its tax forms, and Rep. Ken Buck (R-NY) demanded transparency regarding the organization’s funding sources. GDI had received funding from the State Department and the National Endowment for Democracy, but the NED has announced that it is cutting ties with GDI and will no longer fund it.

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The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) is a non-profit organization that supposedly aims to combat disinformation and misinformation online by providing a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to identifying and tracking disinformation sources. The GDI works to disrupt the financial incentives of disinformation actors and reduce the spread of false information online.

The GDI uses a data-driven approach to identify and analyze websites and domains that publish disinformation, propaganda, and false news. It employs a combination of machine learning, natural language processing, and human expertise to assess the credibility of online information sources. The GDI maintains a global database of disinformation websites and provides this information to advertisers, ad networks, and other stakeholders to help them make informed decisions about their online advertising placements and avoid financially supporting disinformation.

However, as with most other organizations of this type, GDI has shown that its focus has little to do with rooting out disinformation and fake news on the internet. It has functioned as yet another arm of the authoritarian left’s efforts to censor views, arguments, and information that contradict progressive orthodoxy. It is nothing more than a politically-motivated effort to silence opponents, as evidenced by remarks previously made by its founder.

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What is more insidious about this particular organization is that it focuses less on suppressing content online and more on attacking conservative and libertarian outlets by targeting their advertising revenue.

The Washington Examiner published a series of reports in February detailing how the group created a blacklist of news sites for companies to avoid when making decisions related to where they wish to advertise their products and services. What was particularly galling about this operation is that it is funded, in part, by the State Department, meaning that taxpayer dollars were going towards this effort to silence political views on Big Tech platforms.

The news that Oracle is cutting ties with GDI is certainly welcome, especially because the authoritarian left has been actively pressuring corporate America to go along with its agenda, especially when it comes to ESG and other woke practices. There can be no doubt that the Cancel Culture Community™ would relish the opportunity to attack an organization that advertises on news sites regardless of politics.

GDI has suffered a series of setbacks ever since the Washington Examiner exposed its dirty practices. It is now under scrutiny from federal lawmakers and is desperately trying to conceal the sources of its funding as well as those involved in the group’s censorious efforts. Is it possible that this could be the end of the organization?

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It’s certainly possible, especially if other high-profile companies decide to end their relationships with the group. Of course, there is also the possibility that they might weather this particular storm and continue trying to shut down conservative and libertarian outlets. Nevertheless, the battle will continue as GDI is not the only organization that is being paid by the government to push its statist agenda. More exposure will be needed to combat this effort. But this story shows that the authoritarian crowd is not as invulnerable as they would have us think.

The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.

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