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A group backed by the State Department that was funding the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) announced it has cut ties with the organization this week.

On this week's episode of CensorTrack with Paiten, I spoke with Washington Examiner Investigative Reporter Gabe Kaminsky and MRC Free Speech America and MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider about the federal funding behind GDI's blacklists.

The State Department-backed National Endowment for Democracy (NED) announced it would no longer provide future funding to the GDI, Kaminsky told MRC Free Speech America.

“[The NED] had said before that they don’t view any wrongdoing providing funding to [GDI] given that it’s involved in foreign activities,” Kaminsky said, “So the Global Disinformation Index operates in America and overseas. But the NED’s mission is to operate overseas and not domestically. So the fact that they’re funding a group that’s contributing to censorship of press in America, you know, clearly that poses an issue for them.”

Schneider criticized NED’s decision to only halt future GDI funding.

“The National Endowment for Democracy, it’s not a private not-for-profit. It gets almost all of its funding straight from Congress’ appropriations,” Schneider said. “When an organization discovers that one of its grantees has done wrong, has misused funds, you don’t simply announce that you’re going to cut off future funding. You say ‘you have misused your grant dollars that we gave you. Give it back.’ It’s called clawing back.”

GDI was established to “defund and downrank” media outlets like the New York Post, the Federalist, RealClearPolitics and The Daily Wire.

It accomplished its mission by sending blacklists to advertisers like Microsoft-owned Xandr. Advertising companies like Xander used the blacklists bar outlets from displaying ads on their websites, preventing them from accessing valuable advertising revenue.

Xander reportedly severed its ties with GDI after receiving public backlash.

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