Over the past few years, a cottage industry of “fact checkers” and “misinformation” experts has emerged to advance the left’s mission of silencing dissent to its agenda around the world. Analysis of the funding of these organizations leads back to a familiar figure: left-wing billionaire George Soros.
The New York Post broke down the trail of Soros dollars linking a global network of organizations intent on suppressing and discrediting conservative voices online.
Via the New York Post:
Later in the year, heading into the midterms, in an open letter signed by 11 other leftist groups, the Soros-funded Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights called on Big Tech CEOs to take “immediate” action to spread so-called “voting disinformation” to “help prevent the undermining” of democracy. The signatories had received a combined $30.3 million from Soros in just a four-year period.
As the Hungarian publication Remix revealed, of the 11 Facebook-approved fact checking organizations for Central and Eastern Europe, eight were funded by Soros. As is the case for the US, these fact checking groups are largely critical of the political right.
One project of the Poynter Institute specifically, the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), was launched in 2015 with its initial funding coming from the National Endowment for Democracy (backed by the US State Department), the Omidyar Network, Google, Facebook, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
“Fact checking” is an important element in the left’s online censorship machine, giving social media companies a politically neutral pretext so censor conservative viewpoints.
Why are we being bombarded by fact-checks and “anti-disinformation” efforts in our timeline scrolls? When reading the news, we too often find that so-called experts are behind whatever claim media professionals make, no matter how outlandish or disconnected from reality such claims may be.
Through his concept and exploration of spectacle, a totalizing, negating force over our lives that results in what is really “unlife,” French Philosopher Guy Debord’s famous Society of the Spectacle (1967) and his follow-up booklet, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1988), provide insights into these and related phenomena.
When it comes to “fact-checks” and “experts,” Debord is clear: in a society subjugated by the economy, where “everything that was once directly lived has faded into representation,” such professionals do not exist to provide us the truth — they exist to serve the state and media through lies and distortions spun into what appears as true. If the “experts” lose influence, it will be because the public learns and articulates that their job is to systematically lie.
“Disinformation” appears as one of the biggest bogeymen in today’s increasingly online world. Governments warn of the dangers it apparently poses to society and democracy, and mainstream media organizations in turn direct resources to counter-disinformation and to fact-checking. In the name of “being informed,” people cannot often go online without being bombarded by fact-checks or warnings about what content to consume and share with their social and professional networks.
Another fake “fact-checker” has been identified. Politifact’s Jeff Cercone joins the army of the biased and unqualified in telling us what the truth is and what it is not.
The “fact-checker” scheme invented by the far-left is a means to discredit the truth. Fake “fact-checkers” are used to proclaim that the truth is a lie. This is an effort to keep the American people in the dark about the reality of the world around them.
The left feels that if they discredit the truth overwhelmingly, then Americans will begin to believe that boys are girls, kids should be taught porn in grade schools, there is global warming, and Joe Biden won the 2020 Election.
Several funds managed by Arabella Advisors, a Democrat-linked consultant firm, are quietly bankrolling research by universities and non-profits into how online “misinformation” and “disinformation” spreads, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of the networks’ grants.
Arabella Advisors, run by former Bill Clinton official Eric Kessler, manages certain administrative, legal and philanthropic functions of several non-profits including the Sixteen Thirty Fund, Hopewell Fund, North Fund and New Venture Fund, which donate to a variety of left-leaning groups, causes and Democratic candidates, according to tax filings and statements on the funds’ and Arabella’s websites. Several funds within the network are also sponsoring research into the effects of, and how best to mitigate, misinformation and disinformation, according to a DCNF review of public grants.
Many of the Arabella-funded research projects cite conservatives predominantly as purveyors of misinformation, with several projects recommending solutions to mitigate the spread of misinformation, including censorship.
The New Venture Fund sponsored a project in March called “The True Costs of Misinformation” at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, led by the center’s research director Joan Donovan, that sought to study the impacts of online misinformation, particularly on “vulnerable communities,” according to the project’s description. The project included a workshop featuring several panels on different topics related to the alleged impacts of misinformation.
On Tuesday, Google and YouTube announced that they will be providing a $13.2 million grant to the nonprofit Poynter Institute’s International Fact Checking Network with the goal of launching a new “Global Fact Check Fund,” set to launch in early 2023.
The move, which marks the companies’ largest fact-checking grant to date, comes as they continue to ramp up their fight against “misinformation” online.
According to Google and YouTube, the grant will “support [the Poynter Institute’s] network of 135 fact-checking organizations from 65 countries covering over 80 languages.”
The companies justified their decision by noting that “helping people to identify misinformation is a global challenge.”
“The Global Fact Check Fund,” they explained, “will help fact-checkers to scale existing operations or launch new ones that elevate information, uplift credible sources and reduce the harm of mis- and disinformation around the globe.”
The heavily-trafficked news aggregation site CitizenFreePress.com has been suspended from Twitter for sharing a clip of former President Barack Obama, campaigning in Pennsylvania in 2008, discussing potential problems with American voting machines and demanding paper trails for ballots.
CitizenFressPress.com (CFP) was not the only account to have shared the clip, though appears to be the only one that has received a suspension for doing so. Though the video can still be viewed on Elon Musk’s platform, it now carries a warning label which claims the video is “misleading,” as well as noting that the clip can no longer be replied to, shared, or liked.
The video is still shareable from other accounts, and still available on CSPAN. But someone at Twitter appears to be trying to nuke it, at least from CFP’s account.
The world’s largest social network, Facebook, has announced plans to increase its elevation of “authoritative climate information” and expand its “fact checking” of content that it deems to be climate misinformation.
Facebook will expand its fact-checking tools by increasing the availability of its “Climate Science Center” (a page that contains “factual resources from the world’s leading climate organizations and actionable steps people can take in their everyday lives to combat climate change”) to 165 countries and expanding its “Climate Inform Labels” (labels that are added to Facebook posts and link to posts from the Climate Science Center).
The tech giant has also launched a “Climate Science Literacy Initiative” that will “pre-bunk climate misinformation” by running ads that “feature five of the most common techniques used to misrepresent climate change.”
Audio streaming service Spotify has acquired Kinzen – a company that detects and flags “dangerous misinformation and harmful content” within audio content by generating and analyzing audio transcriptions.
Spotify began partnering with Kinzen in 2020. In a blog post about the acquisiton, Spotify said Kinzen’s technology helps Spotify “analyze potential harmful content in multiple languages and countries.”
Kinzen has previously received funding from tech giant Meta and Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). IFCN partners with Meta to “fact-check” posts on its platforms.
Kinzen also works with “content moderation service providers engaged by large technology companies,” consults with “public policy makers seeking to better understand and respond to harmful content,” and has previously partnered with other fact-checkers to detect “climate misinformation in audio.”
Kinzen’s technology works by using machine learning models to detect and flag “harmful language, language, claims, narratives, and policy violations” within the audio transcriptions it has generated.
Danielle Anderson, a virologist often cited as a “biosafety expert” by journalists seeking to debunk the lab-leak theory, never disclosed she had worked on dangerous coronavirus research while fact-checking COVID-19 origin theories, resurfaced documents reveal.
Anderson played a key role in suppressing a New York Post story which posited that COVID-19 may have leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, published in Feb. 2020, according to The Disinformation Chronicle. While she conducted that, and other, work, she failed to disclose she was involved in a grant for manipulating coronaviruses from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance.
A 2020 grant awarded to Daszak and EcoHealth, a group which funneled NIH money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to conduct gain-of-function (GOF) research, lists Anderson as a researcher. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is listed as another funding source for Anderson — an institution directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), according to The Disinformation Chronicle.
Anderson was also listed on a 2018 grant application by Daszak to DARPA, which proposed creating and studying genetically altered coronaviruses. DARPA denied the application, stating Daszak would need a GOF “risk-mitigation plan.”