The Global Disinformation Index, a British organization, has created a “disinformation index” that the State Department has funded. This index warns advertisers against certain media outlets, such as Reason magazine, a libertarian publication. However, many believe that this government involvement in dictating which publications are credible and worthy of advertisers is a direct violation of the First Amendment. The State Department provided funding for this work through the National Endowment for Democracy, a non-profit organization that has received $330 million in taxpayers’ dollars and contributed hundreds of thousands to the GDI.
As much as I think the Daily Wire is trash – & I do – the State Department using tax dollars to lobby against them & other outlets is an attack on the free press, disgusting, unconstitutional & must be stopped.
— Hannah Cox (@HannahDCox) February 17, 2023
The purpose of this index is to diminish the influence of media outlets that are unpopular with the government and to erode their reputation in an effort to strip them of their financial support. Such actions are a clear infringement upon the freedom of the press and are both illegal and unconstitutional. Among the “riskiest online news outlets” listed on this index are Reason magazine, the New York Post, The Daily Wire, Real Clear Politics, The Blaze, One America News Network, Newsmax, The Federalist, The American Spectator, and The American Conservative.
The GDI has also taken steps to promote its favored media outlets, which include NPR, USA Today, The Associated Press, Insider, The New York Times, ProPublica, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, HuffPost, and The Wall Street Journal. Although these publications are often recognized for their quality journalism, they are still susceptible to disinformation. As an example, HuffPost claimed that the controversial Hunter Biden laptop story from the New York Post was Russian disinformation.
Determining the credibility of media outlets is a responsibility of the free market and the unrestricted sharing of information. The creation of this index is tantamount to an act of censorship and should be denounced by anyone who cherishes the principles of free speech and a free press.
The outlets that were targeted by this index have a strong case for a lawsuit and should pursue it. This is an egregious violation of their rights and should not be tolerated. It is important to stand up for freedom of speech and press in order to ensure that our democracy remains strong and that citizens are able to access accurate information.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Based Politics