Disinformation Inc: University got millions from taxpayers while teaming with conservative blacklist group to silence COVID ‘disinfo’
- February 28, 2023
A publicly funded research lab at the University of Washington, which is heavily backed by taxpayer dollars, partnered with a “disinformation” tracking group that is blacklisting conservative news to fight alleged COVID-19 “disinformation” online.
The State Department-backed Global Disinformation Index demanded groups cut ties with media outlets that boosted the coronavirus “lab leak” theory in 2020, which the Energy Department now says is the most likely origin of the virus. That same British group, which has come under fire for alleged censorship, teamed up in 2020 with the University of Washington for a COVID-19 “disinformation” research project that sought to “classify news articles according to their risk of containing disinformation about the coronavirus in real time,” according to records reviewed by the Washington Examiner.
“There are serious constitutional concerns with a government agency, including a state government agency or a state university, participating or funding a project specifically intended to suppress the free speech of American citizens,” Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, an ethics watchdog group, told the Washington Examiner.
“The fact that an organization involved has been accused of targeting outlets based upon their ideological views ramps up the concerns by orders of magnitude,” Chamberlain said. “Agents of the government putting their thumbs on the scales of contentious issues, whether directly or through surrogates, is characteristic of banana republics. That it appears to be happening here should trouble all of us.”