There are many different groups behind this Censorship Industrial Complex, as many are now calling it. They range from "non-profit" organizations to for-profit corporations, as well as governments and even major media outlets like CNN and The New York Times.
There are also many revolving doors between these Censorship Industrial Complex entities. Take Clare Melford, for instance. She is the current CEO of the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a British group affiliated with two different United States-based non-profit groups. Melford used to be the senior vice president for MTV Networks.
Daniel Rogers, a tech advisory board member at Human Rights First, is another key player in the Censorship Industrial Complex whose left-leaning nonprofit group claims that disinformation fuels "violent extremism and public health crises."
(Related: Craig Newmark of Craigslist is a major donor to the Censorship Industrial Complex.)
The stated purpose of the GDI, by the way, is to "remove the financial incentive" that conservative-leaning media outlets have to spread what the left has deemed as "disinformation." Its "core output" is a secretive "dynamic exclusion list" that ranks media outlets based on their alleged disinformation "risk" factor.
Some 2,000 different websites are included on GDI's exclusion list, which has already "had a significant impact on the advertising revenue that has gone to those sites."
An advertising group called Xandr, which Microsoft purchased from AT&T in 2021 for $1 billion, fully aligns with GDI's exclusion list. Xandr actively punishes content that it considers to be "morally reprehensible or patently offensive," or lacking in "redeeming social value," or that "could include false or misleading information."
GDI's advisory panel, which sends its recommendations for exclusion to the likes of Xandr to stop funding, is comprised of various journalists, professors and data scientists. Three advisors in particular are worth mentioning:
The following media outlets are ranked by the GDI as the "least risky," meaning these are likely behind the exclusion list as well because they see right-leaning media outlets and the "most risky" side as a competitive threat:
There is also DoubleVerify, a $4 billion publicly traded company that manages an "inflammatory news index" much like GDI's, except this one is not publicly available except to clients.
We know that DoubleVerify discriminates against Breitbart News, Newsbusters and RawStory, as well as WND. The Washington Examiner is also labeled by the group as being "inflammatory."
Both GDI and DoubleVerify are tied to Integral Ad Science (IAS), an ad verification company worth over $1.6 billion that uses an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to make decisions about which sites are spreading "disinformation" and which are worth funding.
IAS, in partnership with GDI, teamed up with DoubleVerify back in January to aid Twitter with its "brand safety" operation. This program allows Twitter to receive notifications whenever ad groups share allegedly "inappropriate" content.
"Unfortunately, this leveraging of AI technology for censorship is the gold standard now," says Mike Benz, an ex-deputy assistant for internal communications and information policy at the State Department.
"AI is the censorship workhorse, the secret sauce, and virtually no professional disinformation company in 2023 enters the industry without some AI tech aspect to their censorship scheme – whether that's AI for identifying posts, for flagging posts, for sorting targeted online communities, or for mapping interrelations between different targeted online communities."
More related news coverage about the Censorship Industrial Complex can be found at Censorship.news.
Sources for this article include: