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Tipsheet

And Just Like That...Townhall Is No Longer 'Reprehensible/Offensive'

Townhall Media

We had been designated as "reprehensible" and "offensive" by a UK-based non-profit organization that compiled a secret blacklist that was shopped to advertisers with the intent of pinching conservative media outlets' revenue streams. Townhall stood out because most other right-leaning companies on that list had the usual "false/misleading" designation—we were labeled "reprehensible." 

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There's some good company on that list, with a few that should raise eyebrows. RealClearPolitics got mud thrown in their face for being "false/misleading," but 60-70 percent of their content aggregates columns and articles from The New York Times, Washington Post, and other mainstream outlets. Their staff writers and election analysts aren't hardcore conservatives but aren't liberal hacks, either.

While a non-profit attacking other conservative outlets and us isn't new, it's an entirely different scenario when huge corporations like Microsoft subscribe to the blacklist they've cobbled together. Gabe Kaminsky of The Washington Examiner had a deep dive into this hit list last Friday: 

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. 

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And now, on Monday—we're no longer quasi-Nazis. Xandr has scrubbed its rejection flags for all the conservative media companies listed, and it's gone quiet regarding this whole debacle. Though it has suspended its relationship with GDI:

Microsoft is suspending its subscription to a disinformation tracking group's secret blacklist of conservative media outlets and launching an internal review following multiple Washington Examiner reports.

[…] 

"We try to take a principled approach to accuracy and fighting foreign propaganda," a spokesperson said on Saturday evening. "We’re working quickly to fix the issue and Xandr has stopped using GDI’s services while we are doing a larger review."

Xandr subscribed prior to GDI's exclusion list, which is said to include at least 2,000 websites, according to public documents. 

[…] 

In September 2022, Xandr informed publishers that it would begin to adopt GDI's blacklist, emails show. The Washington Examiner learned it is on the list. GDI has said the 10 "riskiest" outlets and biggest "disinformation" peddlers are the American Spectator, Newsmax, the Federalist, the American Conservative, One America News Network, the Blaze, the Daily Wire, RealClearPolitics, Reason, and the New York Post.

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I, for one, am very disappointed that I've lost my "reprehensible" star. It was a badge of honor, at least for me, that triggered progressives from across the pond to find my colleagues and me "offensive." 

If Elon Musk didn't buy Twitter and exposed the shady deeds regarding their censorship operations, which we all knew about, then maybe Xandr wouldn't have raced to cut ties with GDI. Then again, the list itself hasn't been trashed. It's still operational. We're still "reprehensible" fascists but on double-secret probation in some circles. I'll take that, too, and our list—Townhall VIP—will also remain.

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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