WND identified as target of leftists based on false claims of ‘disinformation’

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A new report from the Washington Examiner has identified WND, a precedent-setter among online news sites that was founded back in 1997, is one among dozens of “conservative” news sites from which ad revenue is being blocked by a Microsoft subsidiary.

Among the false claims made against the sites is that they were peddling alleged “disinformation.”

Other websites identified included the Washington Examiner itself, Daily Wire, Real Clear Politics, Hot Air, Newsmax, Daily Caller, Tea Party, Life News, MRCTV, Breitbart, Redstate, The Blaze, and more.

As part of a series about groups tracking supposed “disinformation” and then discriminating against conservative opinions and reporting, the Examiner explained how Xandr, an advertising company that “subscribes to a left-leaning ‘disinformation’ group’s secret blacklist,” has been flagging those with comments with which it disagrees.

And it’s been actively “taking steps to defund and de-platform them.”

The report explained, “The Global Disinformation Index, a British organization with two affiliated U.S. nonprofit groups, is feeding secret blacklists to ad companies, such as Xandr, with the intent of shutting down websites peddling alleged ‘disinformation.'”

The Examiner also reported that Xandr, which Microsoft bought in 2021 for $1 billion, “has targeted disfavored speech and blocked conservative websites from reaping key ad dollars.”

“Xandr’s use of politically motivated flags on this blacklist stands outside of the norm in advertising,” a senior executive at an ad company told the Examiner. He noted the real purpose of blacklisting should be to protect brands from advertising ‘on content that is illegal, fraudulent, [or] low-quality.'”

The executive, given anonymity, said, “In this case, Xandr prevented us from talking to our voters in the critical days leading up to Election Day. Our audience reads the Examiner, Daily Wire, Townhall, etc. Voters go to these news & opinion sites [to] inform their decisions. And if Microsoft is using their technology to block us from showing ads on these websites, they’re actively preventing us from talking to voters on the public squares where their decisions are being informed.”

WND’s longtime vice president and managing editor, David Kupelian, is not surprised at all, revealing more of the back story: “In late 2020, three major international online ad companies that had long served ads on WND – our main source of revenue and sustenance – all suddenly decided, at almost the exact same time, to cancel WND in the run-up to the most important presidential election of our lifetimes. The ad companies blacklisting WND – namely Xandr, TripleLift, and Teads – all cited vague breaches of their terms of service,  including, and I quote, ‘any content that is illegal or otherwise contrary to any applicable law, regulation, directive, guideline or order, including without limitation any misleading, unethical, obscene, defamatory, deceptive, gambling-related or hateful content,’ etc. So it has nothing to do with ‘disinformation.’ If they don’t like your politics, you’re cancelled.”

Other websites targeted included the Epoch Times, Hannity, Washington Times, Lifezette, Bill O’Reilly, Daily Signal, Judicial Watch, Chicks on the Right, Mike Huckabee, OANN, RSB Network, Charlie Kirk, Glenn Beck, American Thinker, Townhall, Newsbusters, Wayne Dupree, Louder with Crowder, CNS, Twitchy, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Free Republic, Law Enforcement Today and Drudge.

Xandr announced just last year it was adopting GDI standards for trying to hurt voices with which it disagrees.

“Domains or apps that GDI has classified as a disinformation site will be added to Xandr’s global blocklist, preventing spend on those domains or apps,” an email on the issue confirmed.

“What we see going on is not new,” Dan Schneider, vice president for the Media Research Center’s Free Speech Alliance group, told the Examiner.

“We saw redlining efforts to prevent blacks from buying homes in certain communities. We saw blacklists in Hollywood to prevent people with different political beliefs from appearing in movies and getting writing contracts.”

The Examiner also has revealed that the State Department has given $330,000 to GDI for its efforts to suppress dialogue.

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