University Of Texas Students Behind Censorship Project Targeting Alternative News Outlets

The Federalist reported that University of Texas students are behind a censorship project targeting alternative news outlets.

Students at the University of Texas–Austin were found to be responsible for a censorship project that targeted conservative news outlets.

The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) report, which called for the blacklisting of conservative news organizations, was written by students under the direction of academics working at the university’s Global Disinformation Lab (GDIL), The Federalist reported.

In the disinformation index, the group labeled several conservative media companies as the riskiest.

The academics in charge of the lab allegedly held an anti-conservative bias in readings of internal communications, along with several other accusations found in the more than 1,000 pages of documents reviewed by The Federalist.

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Publicly Funded Organization Involved in News Blacklist

A Washington Examiner investigative reporter, Gabe Kaminsky, published a Feb. 9 exclusive multi-part series: “Disinformation Inc.”

Kaminsky revealed that “self-styled ‘disinformation’ tracking organizations,” such as the GDI’s review of the top 10 “riskiest American news organizations,” were heavily biased against conservative outlets.

Conservative news outlets such as American Spectator, Newsmax, The Federalist, American Conservative, One America News, The Blaze, The Daily Wire, RealClearPolitics, Reason, and the New York Post generally had the lowest ratings.

Left-leaning news publications, on the other hand, such as The New York Times and CNN, were among the 10 “least risky” in their rating system.

The GDI sold its lists to marketing organizations, which led to companies pulling advertisements from “risky” outlets and thus starving those outlets of funding.

For example, Microsoft’s Xandr used the GDI’s blacklist to limit advertising dollars but has since reportedly dropped its use of the blacklist after the series was published, according to the Washington Examiner.

The government-funded National Endowment for Democracy granted the GDI more than $500,000 between 2020 and 2021, and the State Department’s Global Engagement Center awarded the GDI $100,000 in taxpayer funds in 2021, Kaminsky wrote.

According to a report by POLITICO, the European Union is furious after Elon Musk withdrew Twitter from an online censorship program, citing his commitment to prioritizing freedom of speech over pleasing EU.

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