Twitter Files #17: More 'Gov't-Funded' Blacklists that Allegedly Scooped up Americans in the Process

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

We’ve written previously about the “Global Disinformation Index,” a British organization with two American affiliates. This company was responsible for giving blacklists to ad companies like Xandr to restrict ad dollars and break conservative websites financially, effectively silencing them. RedState was among the conservative sites that were blacklisted, thereby hurting our reach and ad revenue.

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But it wasn’t just any random group doing this. The GDI was indirectly funded, in part, by the Global Engagement Center, which is listed as a State Department entity.

“GDI has also disclosed taking money from Disinfo Cloud, an unclassified and defunct platform through the State Department’s Global Engagement Center. Disinfo Cloud was used between 2018 and 2021 by Congress and over a dozen federal agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Energy, Treasury, and the FBI, according to the State Department.”

That means an arm of the government was indirectly funding the folks blacklisting us and other conservative sites.

On Thursday, the Twitter Files dropped more information from Matt Taibbi about the Global Engagement Center. The Global Engagement Center was formed to counter “foreign disinformation.”

Here Taibbi talks about the GDI.

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The GEC is getting millions, which they then give out to “sub-contractors.” But they don’t think we have a right to know who those people getting our money are.

According to the Twitter Files, one group that got money from GEC — the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab — wrote to Twitter about 40,000 accounts, which they believed were suspected of engaging in “inauthentic behavior” related to “Hindu nationalism,” and suspected some of them were in the pay of or volunteers for India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But Taibbi said the list appeared to be full of ordinary Americans who had no relation to India.

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DFR claimed that they had an “exclusively international focus,” and denied using tax money to track Americans.

Here were a couple of other examples:

The Chinese “list” included CNN employees, which is kind of funny.

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When someone wasn’t connected to a foreign entity, they would sometimes be thrown in with the claim that they were saying things that put them in the same “ecosystem.”

As Taibbi explained, GEC’s funding is up for a vote this year. “Can we at least stop paying to blacklist ourselves?” he asked. And how about an explanation, as well as who else has been funded through this endeavor?

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