‘Media Literacy’ and ‘Digital Citizenship’: Smuggling Censorship and Indoctrination Into Schools

Some of the censorship industry’s leading organizations are using public concern over kids’ online browsing habits to install themselves as gatekeepers to the minds of America’s K-12 students, determining what sources and viewpoints they should be exposed to, and what should be hidden from view.  Screen usage among kids and adolescents is at an all-time…

Read article
Wilson Center serious games initiative
DHS-Funded Video Game Pits ‘Superhero’ Government Against ‘Disinformation’

In 2022, the DHS awarded $750,000 under their Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Program (TVTP) to the developers of a counter-disinformation video game for children in grades 6-9. The project, titled “Defenders Against Disinformation: Defeating Disinformation with Digital Gaming” used the funds to create a video game that pitted “superhero” governments, industry partners, and legacy…

Read article
NewsGuard header
Censorship Profile: NewsGuard

Overview: NewsGuard is a private company offering various products that purport to combat “misinformation.” Their leading product is a browser extension that attaches a “reliability” score to virtually every news website on the internet, with scores ranging from 1-100. A 2021 study by the Media Research Center found a 27-point difference in NewsGuard scores between…

Read article
False Neutrality: Center for Democracy and Technology Admits ‘Political Orientation’ of Censorship Partners Cannot Shift

The keystone of the censorship industry’s branding operation is its claim to be is non-partisan. It doesn’t censor particular viewpoints – it censors “disinformation.” It doesn’t persecute its political opponents – it monitors “extremists.” It doesn’t interfere in elections on behalf of particular parties or candidates – it simply defends “election integrity.” Every major censorship…

Read article
10 Times The Censorship Industry Suppressed Factually True Information

The era of online censorship was fueled by media-driven panics about “fake news” and “disinformation.” The focus of fear switched many times, from the spy-thriller narrative of Russian agents spreading disinformation intended to undermine U.S. elections, to “conspiracy theorists” questioning the official response to COVID-19 and undermining “election integrity” by raising concerns about mail-in ballot…

Read article
USAID Internal Documents Reveal Government Plot To Promote Censorship Initiatives

SUMMARY The US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Center on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) created an internal “Disinformation Primer” that revealed the agency’s explicit praise for private sector censorship strategies and proposed additional censorship practices and techniques. USAID’s censorship proposals were aimed at influencing private sector technology companies, media organizations, education ministries, national…

Read article
Hunter Biden / ATI
Congressionally-Chartered Nonprofit’s Disinformation Dashboard Used to Track Hunter Biden Laptop Story

Junkipedia, a dashboard for tracking and reporting “problematic content” created by the Algorithmic Transparency Institute (ATI), a project of the Congressionally-chartered National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), was used to help discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 election — linking the laptop story to “Pizzagate” and other conspiracy theories. Rolled out in…

Read article
‘Trusted Messengers:’ Volunteer Censors Trained to Control Your Community’s Speech

SUMMARY Heading into 2024, the censorship industry wants to recruit “trusted messengers” in key demographics to take control of narratives, and monitor their communities for “misinformation,” logging their activity on databases controlled by censors. The government’s top-down coordination of online censorship has receded due to pressure from congressional scrutiny and lawsuits.  Censorship organizations have lost…

Read article
JCPA header
Protection Racket: Why The Censorship Industry Bails Out The Media

SUMMARY Establishment media companies are facing a decline in their dominance due to competition from decentralized media. Some media figures have used recent layoffs at news companies to claim the industry is facing a crisis. In the U.S., these efforts have coalesced around the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA), which would funnel money from…

Read article
Civic Listening / WhatsApp
‘Civic Listening’: Political Informants and Citizen Spies, Rebranded

SUMMARY The popularity of private messaging channels such as WhatsApp to share news and political opinions is a major obstacle for the censorship industry, which cannot easily monitor such channels. These private networks are particularly popular in non-English speaking demographics, a growing cause of concern for online censors. In response, top censorship organizations have turned…

Read article