State Department Fund Disinformation Index Warns Advertisers To Avoid

The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) is a British organization that rates news outlets’ susceptibility to disinformation. The ultimate goal is to persuade online advertisers to blacklist dangerous publications and websites.

Such a publication, according to GDI’s highly questionable criteria, is because.

The GDI’s recent report on misinformation noted that the agency exists “to help advertisers and the ad tech industry assess reputational and brand risks when advertising with online media outlets and to avoid monetizing misleading information online.”

The US government clearly values ​​this work; In fact, the State Department subsidizes it. The National Endowment for Democracy — a nonprofit that received $330 million in taxpayer dollars from the State Department — contributed tens of thousands of dollars to GDI’s budget, according to an investigation. Washington ExaminerIts Gabe Kaminski.

Should the State Department spend public money to pressure an agency to punish US media companies? The answer, quite clearly, is no: the First Amendment prohibits the US government from censoring private companies for good reason, and government actors should not attempt to circumvent First Amendment protections by indirectly censoring or improperly applying pressure.

Washington Examiner, which was included in GDI’s list of at-risk media outlets, confirmed that it lost revenue due to advertisers’ attention to GDI’s federally subsidized concerns. (An internal GDI memo singles out the purchase of ad space on Amazon examiner (The article included right-wing misinformation.)

But GDI obviously does because More threats than that Washington Examiner. because Listed with GDI’s 10 Allegedly Perfect “Dangerous Online News Outlets” New York Post, Real Clear Politics, The Daily Wire, The Blaze, One America News Network, The Federalist, Newsmax, American Spectator, And American conservatives.

Global Disinformation Index
Global Disinformation Index

becauseIts rating was due to three factors, according to the GDI: “No information regarding authorship attribution, pre-publication fact-checking or post-publication revision processes, or policies to prevent confusion in its comments section.”

It’s unclear exactly what GDI means—the agency didn’t respond to requests for comment, and it hasn’t made its full scoring analysis publicly available. But contrary to what GDI suggests, its authorship because Articles are clearly communicated to the readers. because Authors link to their sources and promptly make corrections (and notes) whenever appropriate. It is true that because The comment section isn’t specifically about police distractions; That’s probably an area where becauseIts philosophy-free mind and the free market – clash with GDI.

When evaluated by an error-tracking organization that uses transparent and objective metrics, because Fares are very good. NewsGuard—an evaluator co-founded by its former publisher Gordon Crovitz The Wall Street Journal— gives because A perfect score of 100/100 and does not turn advertisers away. Newsguard gives examiner Score 92.5/100; In a recent op-ed for that publication, Krovitz explains how NewsGuard’s processes differ from the opaque blacklisting system favored by the GDI:

Done by entities cited against news site ratings Washington Examiner series (the nonprofit GDI and multibillion-dollar ad tech companies IAS and DoubleVerify), NewsGuard ratings are done with complete transparency and disclosure, using only apolitical criteria. Everything is done by people, with all news and information sites rated by our analysts, which account for 95% of engagement in the US and other countries where we operate.

Each site receives a score from 0-100 based on nine fundamental criteria of journalistic practice. Unlike others, we do not rely on artificial intelligence—only human intelligence can be held accountable to be accurate and apolitical.

Publishers may also make changes to address our queries. More than a quarter of the sites we rated, including many conservative sites, improved their scores by making additional disclosures or otherwise improving their practices after engaging with our analysts.

As Newsguard’s assessment makes clear, because This is not an insecure website, and if GDI pretends otherwise, then this government-funded monitor is spreading misinformation.

It’s also worth noting that GDI ranked 10 so-called “least-risky” online news outlets, including: NPR, The Associated Press, The New York Times, ProPublica, Insider, USA Today, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, The Wall Street JournalAnd HuffPost. Many of these publications often produce admirable journalism. But they are not free from confusion—HuffPostFor example, it is repeatedly suggested that The New York PostThe infamous Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian misdirection. Note that Newsguard gives HuffPost Score 87.5/100.

If a self-described disinformation-tracking organization wants to loudly proclaim, in partisan fashion, that advertisers should only use mainstream and liberal news sites, it has that right. But advertisers must note its obvious bias, complete lack of transparency in detailing media outlets’ scores, and other methodological issues. And the State Department certainly has no business helping to finance it.