Disinformation index collapses after targeting conservative media content

Among the "10 riskiest online news outlets," according to the index, are the New York Post, Reason, and the Daily Wire — all popular conservative/libertarian sites. 

Published: February 21, 2023 2:22pm

Updated: February 21, 2023 6:25pm

A State Department-backed group is severing its connections with a disinformation index group also backed by progressive megadonor George Soros following reports about the group's efforts to muzzle conservative media outlets by blacklisting them with advertisers.

The National Endowment for Democracy, a private foundation created by Congress whose funding is part of the State Department budget, said it will no longer provide grants to the Global Disinformation Index, according to The Washington Times.  

"Recently, we became aware that one of our grantees, the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), was engaged in an initiative, funded by a different donor, that focused on specific U.S. media outlets," the NED told the newspaper Tuesday. 

"We recognize the important work GDI has done with NED support in other countries … . However, given our commitment to avoid the perception that NED is engaged in any work domestically, directly or indirectly, we will no longer provide financial support to GDI."

The NED gave $250,000 in grants to the risk-ratings group to identify and combat disinformation in China and other authoritarian regimes. 

The GDI's stated mission includes assessing "disinformation risk in media markets."

Critics say the group has sought to censor right-of-center voices with a bias-driven ratings system designed to sow distrust in media outlets that do not toe the progressive line.

At least one advertising company using GDI blocked advertising money from reaching conservative websites, according to the Washington Examiner.

Soros reportedly funded the index through the Open Society Foundations, his primary grant-making program. 

The GDI last year rated the "10 riskiest online news outlets" as the New York Post, Reason, RealClearPolitics, Daily Wire, the Blaze, the Media Research Center, One America News Network, the American Conservative, the Federalist, Newsmax and Spectator — all popular conservative/libertarian sites. 

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