NewsGuard: The Anatomy Of What Censorship Looks Like
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5 min read

NewsGuard: The Anatomy Of What Censorship Looks Like

FakeNews watchdog NewsGuard aims to hold independent media accountable for their stories.
NewsGuard: The Anatomy Of What Censorship Looks Like

The image for this article was chosen specifically. Many are attempting to make it feel like the internet is a fake news haven, but is mainstream media just as guilty? More? Be sure to listen to our podcast on this topic! You may recall an expose we did on NewsGuard back in January 2019. We covered who owns NewsGuard, the various agencies tied to the company and how their ratings have gone thus far. At the time, the CFR linked and Big Pharma funded ‘fake news watchdog’ had not yet ‘vetted’ Collective Evolution and thus we had no direct experience with them yet. But the day did eventually come! Before they got to us, NewsGuard was already clear in its approach: give poor ratings to anyone in alternative news, alternative health or who didn’t cover things in classic mainstream narratives. Note: you can explore this entire story with us via our podcast episode here. This isn’t a secret either.

The app has a very low rating on Google’s store, and many of the reviews of the app all reveal what’s going on quite clearly as it isn’t hard to see. Tor-Andreas BråtenModified Jan 24, 2019 Good idea, poorly executed. I would like to see this done by an unbiased AI rather than biased people. Try to see what the news sites are “pushing”; Is it USA Neo Liberal friendly news, then green check. Everything else, proceed with caution... I know I’m biased myself, but this is beyond ridiculous... Artex JayModified Jan 26, 2019 Needs to be worked on a lot. Has potential but at the moment seems to be quite biased. Favoring mainstream sites over the independent ones who give either a different opinion or does not run with the same leftist narrative like CNN. John LittleModified Jan 24, 2019 This horrifyingly biased ‘news guard’ will only filter out views that disagree with neocon and center-left opinion. News sites with a history of falsifying reports and sloppy fact checking sail right on through this ‘addon’. You should ONLY install this, if you like a good ‘brainwash’. Dennis KapatosModified Feb 1, 2019 Stay away! This cr-app is garbage and was created with the intention to push people towards the neocon/neoliberal perspective. Just search the internet for NewsGuard.

Their board of advisers includes many neocons including Tom Ridge and Michael Hayden. Grant SternModified Nov 21, 2018 This is a biased news ratings plugin designed to decry perspective in journalism. Michael La Riviere Mar 26, 2019 The concept with NewsGuard is to instill doubt when it comes to authentic and true news which refutes government propaganda. One has to obtain the news on any government issues away from mainstream media because they are extremely reluctant to post anything that is not right wing propaganda. Beware of this App! It’s all about doubt. Instead of examining a story, much like Snopes might do, NewsGuard simply tries to tells you to proceed with caution or proceed safely.

There is no clarity on what a website does right or wrong regularly. For example, if a website spent 2 years falsely reporting a story in hundreds of articles and broadcasts, you’d think that might get a poor rating, vs a website that may make a couple of journalistic mistakes and corrects them. But a user has no clarity of this when using the app. This it’s all about creating doubt so people will stay away. Given almost all of the independent media has a “proceed with caution” rating, the agenda seems clear here. I received an email from someone named John Gregory at NewsGuard. He said he had some questions for me and would love to talk before they publish our rating. This was on March 19th, 2019 and 5:50 PM EST. I was able to properly read this email by 3:00 PM EST March 20th, 2019, by that point John and the NewsGuard team had already published their rating regardless of having not spoken to me.

They of course published in their rating, which has now since changed slightly, “Joe Martino did not answer our email discussing our rating.” This was tactic number one that, after research, NewsGuard seems to do to many people. Allege that you do not respond, when in reality you just haven’t got it in the very short time period they give you prior to publishing their rating. I responded on the 20th of March and let them know I was aware of their organization, had done a story on them in January and ended up preferring to not engage with their organization as they have a track record of not listening to nor taking anything seriously that is said in response to their baseless claims. After all, how do you speak to a company about vaccines and health research when they are funded by pharmaceutical giants? I knew this as I had already done my research and spoken to many friends in alternative media who have had this happen to them. For example, my friend Sayer over at GreenMedInfo, a website that publishes articles based on the database of research and scientific studies it compiles, told me that he went through the entire process with NewsGuard and it was like talking to a wall.

Their illogical methods and agendas as the first and foremost at the company, not unbias journalism. We recorded a podcast episode exploring our NewsGuard rating and going through the stories they claim are fake, when in reality they are simply spinning words to have them say whatever they wish to report to users. NewsGuard decided to define Collective Evolution as “A website that regularly promotes debunked conspiracy theories like vaccines cause autism and that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were staged.” Yet it gives CNN who, like other mainstream media outlets, have come under fire lately for 2 years of false reporting on Russian collusion, the Convington kids story, and the Jussie Smollet story, a perfect rating, defining them as “A website of Cable News Network (CNN), the first Television network in the United States dedicated exclusively to news. Founded in 1980 by media businessman Ted Turner, CNN pioneered the 24-hour news cycle.” You’ll notice, one is a nice about section as seen with CNN’s rating, the other is a slam at an organization as seen in our rating. That alone should tell you what NewsGuard’s intentions are: create doubt and fear. In the end, NewsGuard went after us for 9/11, talking about UFO’s, and talking about vaccines.

They claim all these things are debunked conspiracies when in reality they are not, and when we discuss them we do so with research, integrity and studies. We talked about all of this on our recent podcast episode here. I and Arjun Walia, a senior journalist at CE, went through every aspect of their rating and discussed the lack of proper research on NewsGuard’s part in the podcast episode. Our purpose here was to not only show the lack of proper research on NewsGuard’s part but also to illustrate the overall thought processes and irresponsible journalism that goes into much of the censorship we see today. This is important as many of us are not quite aware of how these decisions are coming to be, as well as who exactly the people and institutions are behind censorship. In the case of NewsGuard, you have severe conflicts of interest going out to essentially clean up ‘bad press’ being put out against large corporations and big pharma. Luckily, not many are downloading nor using NewsGuard’s.

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