Federally Funded NewsGuard + Impact On Free Speech

Federally Funded NewsGuard + Impact On Free Speech

House Oversight Committee investigates federally funded NewsGuard’s impact on free speech.


Laura Harris

The House Oversight Committee has initiated a thorough investigation into the alleged influence of anti-misinformation tech company NewsGuard Technologies over the United States and its financial arrangements with the federal government.

NewsGuard, a company that gives news and information sites "reliability ratings and scores" that often work against conservative sites, has been accused of being a threat to free speech for its excessively aggressive attitude toward the news content published by independent and right-leaning media outlets.

In line with this, Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) has formally requested a comprehensive set of documents from NewsGuard CEOs Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz on June 27. The requested documents must include all records of government contracts, explanations for any gaps in documentation, records of policy violation disciplinary actions, policies on managing conflicts of interest, communications from investors about news evaluations and data on corrections prompted by NewsGuard's inquiries.

The committee has requested records of NewsGuard's editorial errors and its policies for revising previous evaluations.

Moreover, the committee has raised concerns about the potential impact of NewsGuard on financially vulnerable media outlets. The request cited a journalist who fears NewsGuard's activities might be part of a larger federal effort, previously condemned by the judiciary, to influence social media platforms and threaten the economic stability of certain publishers.

Comer then stressed the importance of this inquiry to ensure that NewsGuard adheres to its own standards for preventing conflicts of interest and managing its investor relations. The committee seeks to determine whether NewsGuard's practices are impartial or if they perpetuate the very biases they claim to monitor.

Federal government SUED over NewsGuard funding

This request for transparency follows the legal actions of The Daily Wire, The Federalist, the State of Texas and multiple other parties against the federal government's decision to allocate nearly $750,000 in funding to NewsGuard. The plaintiffs argue that such funding supports a biased approach to monitoring media.

The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Texas by the New Civil Liberties Alliance in December, accused the State Department of misusing its resources to target American citizens and media under the guise of combating disinformation through the Global Engagement Center (GEC), initially intended to counter foreign terrorist propaganda now funds NewsGuard and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI).

GEC, established in 2011, funds these organizations to limit ad revenue for conservative media.

"The federal government cannot do indirectly what the First Amendment forbids it from doing directly," Mark Chenoweth of the New Civil Liberties Alliance, the plaintiffs' representative said.

According to the lawsuit, GDI received $100,000 in 2021 from the State Department's U.S.-Paris Tech Challenge, while the National Endowment for Democracy funneled additional funds despite its mandate to operate internationally. NewsGuard also benefited from State Department-sponsored initiatives to label conservative outlets as unreliable and limit their ad revenue.

The GDI maintains a "Dynamic Exclusion List" of media outlets it claims are high risks for disinformation, including The Daily Wireand The Federalist.

The lawsuit names Secretary of State Antony Blinken and five other officials for "one of the most audacious, manipulative, secretive and gravest abuses of power and infringements of First Amendment rights by the federal government in American history."

"State Department Defendants' active intervention in the news media market to make disfavored media unprofitable thus had devastating consequences to Media Plaintiffs," the lawsuit states.

Watch the full conversation between Jeffrey Greyber, Jason Fyk and the Health Ranger Mike Adams about the Brighteon Media lawsuit against Big Tech and Big Government below.





Original Article: https://www.naturalnews.com/2024-06-19-hoc-investigates-newsguard-impact-on-free-speech.html