Why all your favorite news sites are deeply endangered

By Joseph Farah

This independent news site you’re reading right now – WND – which has been around before all others on the internet, has lots of formidable enemies.

You’re about to meet just a few of them.

But we are not alone.

Recently, the Washington Examiner looked at some of the self-styled “disinformation” tracking organizations that are cracking down on conservative media of all kinds. It’s part of a lucrative operation that plans to defund and eradicate all “disfavored” speech from the United States – illegally.

Why?

Because these well-funded organizations are part of a stealth operation blacklisting and trying to defund conservative media, costing the news companies large sums in advertising dollars, as has been the case with WND for years.

Major ad companies are increasingly seeking guidance from supposedly “nonpartisan” groups claiming to be detecting and fighting online “disinformation.” These same “disinformation” monitors are compiling secret blacklists of websites and feeding them to ad companies, with the aim of defunding and shutting down “disfavored” speech.

That’s what the Washington Examiner reports.

This is how it works. Advertisers seek to promote products and services online through a variety of websites. They turn to corporate digital ad companies. In turn, they are finding that these companies are contracting “disinformation” trackers to obtain information about which websites they should purportedly “defund.”

“The Global Disinformation Index, a British group with two affiliated U.S. nonprofit groups sharing similar board members, is one entity shaping the ad world behind the scenes,” says the report. “GDI’s CEO is Clare Melford, former senior vice president for MTV Networks, and its executive director is Daniel Rogers, a tech advisory board member for Human Rights First, a left-leaning nonprofit group that says disinformation fuels ‘violent extremism and public health crises.'”

CNN and the New York Times can do no wrong, but beware of Breitbart and the New York Post at all cost.

GDI’s mission is to “remove the financial incentive” to create “disinformation,” and its “core output” is a secretive “dynamic exclusion list” that rates news outlets based on their alleged disinformation “risk” factor, according to its website. There are at least 2,000 websites on this exclusion list, which has “had a significant impact on the advertising revenue that has gone to those sites,” Melford said.

But that’s not good enough for GDI. Recently, the organization submitted a report to the United Nations that said it is “seeking to defund disinformation” and break “the incentive to create it for the purpose of garnering advertising revenues.” That same report called on “governments around the world” to examine their policies for addressing disinformation and enact “stringent repercussions” for culprits.

The “whole point” of the “disinformation” tracking industry is clearly to destroy “the reach, scalability, market, and even credibility” of conservative news outlets, added Mike Benz, now executive director of Foundation for Freedom Online, a censorship watchdog.

All of the websites GDI ranks as the “least risky” lean left in their news coverage – minus the Wall Street Journal. These include NPR, ProPublica, the Associated Press, Insider, the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News and HuffPost, according to a 27-page report.

“The Left’s censorship efforts are anti-American, and conservatives should oppose them regardless of whether they originate in the private sector or in the White House,” said Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind.

But it’s not just GDI doing the blacklisting.

Another is DoubleVerify, a $4 billion publicly traded company that operates an “inflammatory news index” that clients can gain access to. Content from websites gets added to the index if it contains “blatant opinion statements in non-editorial content,” violence incitement, or “the use of slurs when referring to public figures.”

“DoubleVerify, which posted its highest revenue of $112 million in November 2022, does not publicize outlets or content on its index,” reported the Washington Examiner. “However, Breitbart and Newsbusters, as well as the left-leaning website RawStory, have been included in it, according to a 2016 Wired report. So has WND.com.”

All of this is water under the bridge, as far as WND is concerned. We saw our revenues shrink by $14 million since 2016. Even Google dropped us cold about a year ago – banned us forever – leaving us with just over a million in annual revenue, mostly contributions from readers.

That’s where we’re all headed if things don’t change – soon.

The situation is bleak – especially for a Christian company like WND. It’s a double threat – conservative and Christian. Imagine!


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