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State Department Helped Fund ‘Disinformation’ Research Group that Reportedly Blacklists Conservative News Sites

(Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. State Department, through its Global Engagement Center (GEC), helped facilitate funding for a group that reportedly works to demonetize sites it claims are disseminating “disinformation,” including conservative news outlets, according to its website.

The Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a United Kingdom-based nonprofit that styles itself as a “non-political” monitor working to “disrupt the business model of disinformation,” lists as a funder the Disinfo Cloud, a now-shuttered GEC project. However, GDI has worked to demonetize conservative news sites by collaborating with ad exchanges to flag alleged purveyors of disinformation, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday.

GDI maintains a “dynamic exclusion list” of the worst offenders of disinformation online, according to its website. The organization then provides this list to ad tech companies, which can then “defund and downrank these worst offenders” and thereby defund sites allegedly promoting disinformation.

While the exclusion list isn’t publicly available, popular conservative news site Breitbart is on the list, according to the Examiner, and it is “plausible” that any of the “riskiest” outlets would also be on the exclusion list, according to a member of the GDI advisory panel who spoke to the Examiner.

Related Story: 5 Things to Know About the DHS Censorship Agency’s “Misinformation” Campaigns

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