Retreat: Microsoft “suspends” use of GDI after secret targeting of conservative sites exposed; Update: Retreat confirmed

It’s a win. Although it might be temporary, it is still a win.

The Washington Examiner’s Gabe Kaminsky revealed secret blacklists of conservative websites created by the “Global Disinformation Index.” Despite a long and largely data-free discussion about their “methodology,” neither GDI nor its sponsors ever contacted us to discuss their “assessment” or their reports.

GDI’s principal partner seems to be advertising units. Xander was acquired by Microsoft and used by them. Microsoft announced after Kaminsky’s report that they would suspend GDI’s use and conduct an internal investigation into how blacklists were used. Kaminsky gets another award:

Microsoft-owned Xandr is an advertising company that has complied with a blacklist of conservative websites secretly compiled and maintained by the Global Disinformation Index. This organization intends to “defund” disfavored speech. Microsoft launched a review of its relationship to GDI following the Washington Examiner’s report and suspended use of its services.

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A spokesperson for the organization stated that they take a principled approach towards accuracy and fighting foreign propagandism on Saturday night. We are working fast to resolve the issue. Xandr stopped using GDI’s services during our larger review.

Xandr was a subscriber before GDI’s exclusion, which, according to public records, is believed to have at least 2,000 websites. Microsoft’s backpedaling comes after the Washington Examiner revealed on Friday how Xandr has blocked conservative websites from receiving key ad dollars and labeled them as “false/misleading,” “hate speech,” or “reprehensible/offensive.”

Disinformation refers to the dissemination of foreign propaganda. The blacklists of GDI essentially accused sites of cooperating in hostile regimes to the United States. This is not only wrong, but a horrible injustice for those who are subject to GDI’s bogus or corrupt targeting. It’s even worse when it was revealed that some of GDI funding came from State Department

Concerns have been raised by watchdog groups about the State Department’s funding of a “disinformation tracking group” that secretly blacklists and attempts to defund conservative media outlets. …

GDI received $330,000 from entities within the State Department – which led to First Amendment lawyers raising concerns and members of Congress asking about legality.

Several House Republicans called for hearings on GDI within the next few days. This will be a good fit for the GOP’s efforts against political weaponization of government. It comes at the same moment that the Twitter Files, and a lawsuit against Facebook exposed government attempts to silence and suppress dissent on social media platforms. This goes a step further, attempting to stifle conservative voices outside of the Big Tech platforms.

Jonathan Turley said that all of this smells like another Red Scare. Jazz wrote about Turley’s warning Friday. But it’s worth a second look here in a wider context than Twitter.

The Democratic Party was once the most vocal defender of freedom of speech, the biggest critic of corporate power and the largest skeptic of FBI. It now opposes the FBI investigation into its involvement in massive corporate-runcensorship systems.

It was simple for politicians in the 1950s to simply label their opponents fellow travelers, rather than discuss their underlying views. Today, we are seeing the same personal attacks used to avoid the troubling disclosures in Twitter Files.

McCaskill is one example of someone who shouts “Russians!” Others use more modern labels like “conspiracy theorists” which includes the FBI.

The FBI called critics “conspiracytheorists” when they were criticized for their role in secretly targeting citizens to be censored. . . Feeding the American public misinformation.” This is what you would expect from a politician or pundit. This attack is even more frightening when it comes from the largest law enforcement agency in the country.

Since then, the Russia-collusion hoax is a Red Scare-ish endeavor. Anyone who doubted the authenticity of these claims was accused of being either a Russian dupe or actively working alongside them. After that collapsed, the same hysterics took advantage of the “disinformation thread” to create panic and justify government intervention in public speech under the Sedition Act. This strategy is used to silence debate on a broad range of issues and not only for political advantage. Turley points out that it was even used to anyone who pointed to the Twitter Files, and the clear government misconduct they reveal:

However, Democrats also suggested that anyone who criticizes Twitter’s censorship was supporting insurrections against government. Member after member suggested to me that the purpose of investigating the government’s role as censorship was to invite, or even welcome another Jan. …

It’s all too familiar. This week’s effort was to attack witnesses, rather than to address the most extensive censorship system in American history. Ironically, those who seek to stop such government-supportedcensorship are being called Putin lovers. Putin is a lover of censorship, and likely feels awe at the successes of the left using the FBI and corporations for regulation of speech on social media.

GDI is one of those corporations, as well as its funding by State Department. We can expect this corrupt circle to disappear now that it has been exposed. It won’t come back in another form if Congress doesn’t keep the pressure on them to expose those responsible and those who continue to use McCarthyist tactics against those who disagree with their preferred narratives.

This is why we fight. Although we knew we couldn’t rely on Big Tech for easy access to advertisers we didn’t realize they would create blacklists that would cut us off completely. We are reliant on our members, and we thank them for resisting the GDIs.

Now that we all know that our sites were targeted by the elites it is more important than ever that people are reminded that they can fight back by joining our efforts.

We have a new promo code today for this mission. Get 50% off VIP Gold and VIP Gold memberships by using CENSORSHIP Click the link to sign up now and support us in our fight for justice.