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Tipsheet

Secret Blacklist Exposed: Townhall Labeled 'Reprehensible' and 'Offensive' on List Targeting Advertisers

Townhall Media

In the era of cancel culture, leftist forces are working together behind the scenes to censor and de-platform conservative voices. We've seen it in real-time—look at what Facebook and Twitter did to President Donald Trump. Look at what Big Tech has done to a slew of social media accounts, high-profile or not, who dared to voice a contrary opinion that goes against the grain of the liberal ethos. The Twitter Files have exposed what we have suspected all along. We now have the hard evidence exposing this extensive censorship operation that included assistance from the FBI.

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Regarding advertising, the tentacles of leftism are even more entrenched in the effort to censor, and they have heavy hitters as allies. Take what Gabe Kaminsky of The Washington Examiner exposed today. Townhall is one of those listed on a secret blacklist compiled by some British-based woke nonprofit that targets advertisers with the intent of silencing these websites. An advertising agency that Microsoft bought is a subscriber to this list (via Washington Examiner): 

An advertising company owned by Microsoft that subscribes to a left-leaning "disinformation" group's secret blacklist for conservative media outlets has been internally flagging right-leaning websites and taking steps to defund and deplatform them, according to records obtained by the Washington Examiner and whistleblowers in the advertising industry. 

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." Now, sets of documents and emails leaked to the Washington Examiner shed light on how 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," said a senior executive at an ad company, noting that the real purpose of blacklisting should be to protect brands from advertising "on content that is illegal, fraudulent, [or] low-quality."

"In this case, Xandr prevented us from talking to our voters in the critical days leading up to Election Day," the executive, who was granted anonymity to discuss confidential company matters, told the Washington Examiner. "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."

[…]

The revelation that Xandr has its own blacklist of conservative websites comes after the Washington Examiner reported that the State Department granted $330,000 to GDI. 

The State Department's Global Engagement Center, which aims to "counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations," sent $100,000 to GDI. 

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Oh, this little covert censorship operation now has Joe Biden as a backer using taxpayer dollars. It doesn't get much swampier than this, but it's also something that isn't shocking. Numerous websites on the conservative spectrum have experienced oddities regarding ad revenue. And while this isn't the source of all ills—it only shines as another example of the Democrat-media-technology complex working tenaciously to erase people and opinions they view as offensive. It's why Townhall and other outlets have launched successful membership services, which have served as a critical backstop to any potential fallout should we get black-bagged by these leftists Gestapo types. In turn, we can create edgier content for our loyal readers.

So, speaking only for myself, I can only say "thank you" to these miserable leftists seeking to hurl me and others with differing opinions into the meat grinder. I love that you find me "reprehensible" and "offensive." I'm elated that it triggers you and keeps you up at night. I'm an insomniac, so I'll keep driving you mad at all hours. We're not going away, and neither are my friends.

Matt Vespa

Senior Editor, Townhall.com

Pronouns: reprehensible/offensive

Editor's Note: If you like our conservative reporting and want to help us fight back against the Big Tech censors, become a Townhall VIP member today. Use promo code CENSORSHIP for 50% off your membership!

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