When Your Own Government CONFIRMS It Paid Censors to Silence You…

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Author of What to Eat When You’re Broke and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

If you’ve been around for very long, you know this website has suffered repeated hits for our content. We’ve been defunded, we’ve been hit by algorithmic changes that make it harder for people to find us, and we’ve been classified as a “disinformation” site. All of this has happened despite the fact we offer factual coverage and often use mainstream sources that are not targeted by censors.

While I’ve had my suspicions since the attacks first began, imagine the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I recently read an expose by the Washington Examiner in which the United States government readily admitted giving funding to the very business that abruptly defunded my website back in 2021.

The US State Department “stands by” grant to fund censorship

It’s hard to believe that I’m writing this about the government of the United States of America, but here we are in 2023 with our own government striving to make at least half the country out to be terrorists and second-class citizens. An exclusive report by the Washington Examiner states:

The State Department “stands by” its widely scrutinized grant to a group the Washington Examiner revealed is blacklisting conservative media outlets, according to a letter to Congress.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) put the State Department’s Global Engagement Center on blast in a March letter to the agency and demanded an investigation into its $100,000 grant in 2021 to the Global Disinformation Index, which has fed conservative website blacklists to advertisers to defund disfavored speech. The agency issued a response to the congressman on Friday, telling him in a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner that it has no regrets over the taxpayer-backed award…

…As the Washington Examiner has reported since February 2022, the GDI was awarded $100,000 through the government’s U.S.-Paris Tech Challenge, which sought to “advance the development of promising and innovative technologies against disinformation and propaganda across the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom,” according to the Atlantic Council, a think tank that partnered for the challenge.

But it wasn’t just a grant of $100,000. At least $330,000 was received from US-State-Department-related entities, and it’s possible the price tag goes even higher. In another article, the Washington Examiner reported these ties:

The first State Department-backed group that has supported GDI is the National Endowment for Democracy, a nonprofit group that receives nearly all of its funding from annual congressional appropriations.

According to financial statements, the NED received over $300 million from the State Department in 2021. Critics have argued that the endowment, which Congress authorized in 1983, is essentially a government grantmaking body despite its legal status as a private entity.

In 2020, the NED granted $230,000 to the AN Foundation, GDI’s group that also goes by the Disinformation Index Foundation, documents show.

The grant was to “deepen understanding of the challenges to information integrity in the digital space” in Africa , Asia, and other foreign countries, to “assess disinformation risks of local online media ecosystems,” according to the NED, which noted that GDI would compile “risk ratings” for ad companies and others to assess “risks that arise from funding disinformation.”

And that’s not all – further government funding of censorship entities is discussed in the article. Potentially there are millions of dollars granted to organizations that in turn fund censorship groups.

Our own government is wiping its feet on the first amendment as it “stands by” grants that go after those who dissent.

What is GDI?

GDI (Global Disinformation Index) is the group that directly caused The Organic Prepper website to lose a valuable advertising partnership that had been in place for years with no complaints whatsoever. There was no notice – the partnership with AdThrive was severed, and we were offered no recourse to try and maintain the relationship.

This was a loss of thousands of dollars of revenue monthly – revenue that allowed us to publish and offer our products at low or no cost to the readers.

Again from the Examiner:

GDI compiles a “dynamic exclusion list” that it feeds to corporate entities, such as the Microsoft -owned advertising company Xandr, emails show. Xandr and other companies are, in turn, declining to place ads on websites that GDI flags as peddling disinformation.

The Washington Examinerrevealed on Thursday that it is on this exclusion list. The list includes at least 2,000 websites and has “had a significant impact on the advertising revenue that has gone to those sites,” said GDI’s CEO Clare Melford on a March 2022 podcast.

We seem to be on the wrong side of GDI. To be honest, that’s not something that’s cause for shame. I’m glad that a group that believes in silencing anyone who doesn’t just meekly go with the status quo also believes that I’m not one of them.

Here’s what we were told at the time we were defunded.

When we were defunded, it wasn’t really a surprise. We’d received the following announcement two weeks before.

The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) helps advertising companies assess a website’s risk of disinformation and provide a trusted and neutral assessment so brands and ad companies can make informed decisions and avoid funding this content.

We recently became the first ad management service to partner with The Global Disinformation Index to introduce new vetting processes for all sites in the AdThrive community, so that advertisers can spend confidently and be assured they are NOT funding disinformation!

This allows us to pinpoint potentially harmful topics on the site (for example, disinformation, hate speech, racism, derogatory content, and other topics or themes that are not brand safe) and research the content in a more thorough way than before.

We’re also using this system to establish new brand safety processes to periodically review our existing partnerships to ensure our community remains as high-quality as possible. (source)

It was the first time I’d heard of GDI, but I was instantly suspicious.

Many of us ” voiced concern about this high-level censorship of our websites. After all, we’d been working together for years, and it was downright insulting to be “audited” for truthfulness from some outside entity. Our attempts to discuss this fell upon deaf ears. Their decision to align with censors had been made.

Soon, I received the following email.

And that was it.

Just like that, I lost $56,000 of revenue per year, the revenue that had juuuuussst covered my then-operating expenses of $55,000 per year.

The real-world effects of this

It’s been a real struggle to keep afloat. A once-thriving business is now going month-to-month in an effort to pay the massive overhead required to keep us online. That overhead has only gone up with both inflation and attacks on the sites at a server level. Those attacks have been costly to repair and prevent with added security measures. And while suing them would be great, these costs and the halt to my flow of income mean that I could not afford to take legal action, despite clear evidence of defamatory and malicious behavior. I tried, initially, and I quickly went through my entire savings account and never even got to court.

I’ve had to let long-time employees go, and we’re running on a skeleton crew now. We’ve had to dial back how often we post, and it’s a constant cycle of creating products and marketing them to keep things going.

We cannot keep operating without your help. So this weekend, we’re offering two ways to support the site – a site that the Biden administration desperately wants to see go away.

We will keep sharing the information we believe is important for as long as possible. We will keep offering our products on a sliding scale to help our readers who can’t afford to pay more. We are committed to exposing manipulation and corruption and to helping you get prepared and to recognize the threats.

We won’t go down without a fight, and we sincerely appreciate your efforts to help us.

What does it mean when you’re attacked by your own government?

Being attacked and censored by my own government is a very difficult thing to stomach.  Not only is it painfully disappointing, it’s also scary.

You look at other writers who have fun afoul of the administration and the attacks they are suffering, like Matt Taibbi’s run-in with the weaponized IRS or Tucker Carlson losing his job under mysterious circumstances (but most likely for exposing the events of January 6th using video footage.)

Meanwhile, the United Nations talks about standing up to those who would silence journalists.

On November 2, the United Nations observed its ninth annual International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. The United Nations established this day in no small part because of the essential role journalists play in healthy and vibrant democracies. Independent reporters hold the powerful accountable for their conduct, their policies, and the results, and help their fellow citizens make informed choices that are untainted by propaganda or misinformation. When reporters are silenced, people are robbed of the information they need to make decisions that affect their lives.

They also note that fifteen American reporters have been murdered since the 90s as a direct result of their investigations.

While the United States may be considered a relatively safe place for journalists, it is not immune from such violence. Jeff German, a Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter covering politics and corruption, was found stabbed to death near his home on September 2. A local government official who was the subject of recent reporting by German was arrested and charged with murdering him days later. German was the 15th journalist to have been killed in the United States since 1992; some have died in particularly infamous incidents, like the four who were killed in a mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2018.

But the journalists they have in mind aren’t alternative journalists and bloggers in America. These are legacy and local media who they discuss.

We, however, know the risk we are taking.

You have to wonder how much worse it will get now that the government admits without shame or remorse that it is funding the organizations which are going after us.

What are your thoughts?

What do you think about the government funding organizations that censor alternative media? Do you believe it conflicts with the Constitution? What do you think about their shameless admission they did so and that they stand behind it? What do you foresee happening next?

Let’s discuss it in the comments section.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • The so-called ‘government’ does not, and never has, served the interests of The People. It is a tool of the .001% Elite, the rich that own almost everything in the country, and is used to distract and divide The People. The Elite used to try to obscure their agendas, but lately are increasingly open about reducing Our numbers, and concentrating wealth and power in Their hands.

    • Yes, everything is run by the deep state. Politicians are puppets. Our governments are weaponized against us.

  • How about we go to websites carrying ad content that adhere to the standards deemed not disinformation, seek out their contact info and let them know we will not support them if they continue to fund censorship.
    It’s worked with bud light/AB inbev. It’s worked with target & kohls.
    Leaving comments on such sites claiming it funds denying constitutional rights to educate the sleeping sheep might help snowball this.

  • In a less brain damaged era, everyone in the public would automatically understand that the government hiring an agent, to do what is illegal for the government to do, constitutes collusion ahead of the fact and is itself criminal activity. It is doubtful that this activity is covered under the patriot act. Or shouldn’t be. It is clearly a manipulation of power of the state.

  • One thing about it, Americans can’t legitimately say that they didn’t get lots of warning that criminals and enemies had taken over their government.

    • Well, the truth is the Bible warned us that things will get worse before JESUS returns to this earth. And JESUS, Himself warned us this…”Trust GOD, man will (fail you), but GOD will never fail you.” We need to heed the warning. He told His own disciples…”Do not be deceived”…Are we deceived, are we cheated, are we lied to? Hummmm… Think about that please.

  • It is vital that we keep speaking Truth. According to Prof. Desmet, the 7% of people who can see thru nonsense like the panicdemic and not go along with it have a decision to make. If they shut up and hide, the culture gets meaner, ending in mass murder. The classic examples are Stalin’s Russia and Nazi Germany. If they keep on speaking up, they rescue the whole culture after a while. So as hard as Daisy’s outrageous loss is to bear, it was and is utterly vital to our survival and well-being that we did keep this site oriented to Truth. This affirmed the site’s whole reason for being.

    ~~~~~When challenges arise, we need to encourage people and let them know that there is something they can do. Patriots VITALLY need to support sites like this and the others to keep the Truth flowing. And we need to figure out already that Washington is NOT our savior, nor our answer to ANYTHING. They need to be cut down to Constitutional size, which is a 90% haircut or more. We need to focus on LOCAL.

    Local politics, “local is the new organic” food, get to know your neighbors. The CLEO–Chief Law Enforcement Officer–in most counties is its SHERIFF, who is senior to federales pests trying to take your freedom away. Richard Mack’s CSPOA, Constitutional Sheriff’s and Peace Officers Association is not a sheriff club. It is for the CITIZENS to back up righteous sheriffs who uphold our rights. They got two entire states’ sheriffs to vow to uphold the 2nd Amendment. That is a fantastic start and a huge return on its supporters’ investment. Join them TODAY.

    ~~~~~As we learn how to grow our own food again, we will learn about Permaculture, food forests, Regenerative Agriculture. Such practices have led to more nutritious food, more food per acre with less work in some cases, tremendous variety, natural beauty. This is sustainable and therefore our future. And it is a FUN future.

    • Great post Lady Life….Many Americans do not understand what a Constitutional Sheriff really is, and how important they are to our nation’s survival. I’ve been to presentations by Richard Mack, and not only is he very down to earth, he understands our nation’s history. If you haven’t already done so, you might also consider checking out: https://protectamericanow.com/home/

  • If there is any Law Enforcement people out there they need to arrest these Oath Breakers who are committing felonies on a daily basis. check out Title 5 USC section 7311 and 1333, and there taking tax payers money under false pretenses. That’s a felony !

  • I hate this phony “disinformation” stuff. That tells you how they look on US, as stewpid sheep.

    Disinformation? Ah, can’t get enough of it from them, already. Treating US like commie citizens not worthy to know any truth.

  • The pendulum of history is starting to swing against them, that’s why they’re in such a hurry to get their mission accomplished. Otherwise they’ll lose again, as they always have before. But this time it’s different. What is that definition of insanity again?

  • Daisy, reference your “Freedom isn’t free” e-mail alert: Is there a way to send you cash or check to a snail mail address? Like you, some of us are having difficulty or are otherwise reluctant to leave an online trail of who we support. I see at the bottom of your newsletter this address in the USA:

    LutherCompany LLC, 1740 Dell Range Blvd., Suite H13-49354 , Cheyenne, WY 82009

    Can we use that address? If so, will the resources eventually get to you wherever you are wandering around the world? Please advise. And, safe travels!

    • Yes mail there sure will get to me and a family member in the US will be able to deposit checks for me or put back cash. Thank you for asking!

  • put differently, the internet has become a bullshit factory, and regardless of source, bullshit is bullshit. Rand Paul gave Majorkas the news in that senate hearing, informing him that the federal govt. is the single largest source of disinformation, but in fairness, not the only one, by far. Reader beware, and blessed be, the truth will win out in the long run.

    • In case there is anyone reading that cares…JESUS said…”And when they know the TRUTH, the TRUTH will set them “FREE” aka FREEEEEEEEEEE!!!

  • Daisy: I have no government and I have no country. There are vermin who inflict opinions backed by up to lethal assaults using a framework through which vermin rob folks to finance up to lethal assaults against folks. There is real land on which real folks really reside. Please wake up to reality.

    I copy-edited your email comments to reflect reality when I shared to Substack Notes, Gab, and Facebook.

    • I, too have no government or country as I am OF God not OF government. Government & country & the legal system are all counterfeits.

  • I have subscribed to Hal Turner’s Radio Show for $1.00 a week. I have only listened to one radio broadcast in the 3 years I have been subscribed but it is the first place I go to check for news every day and sometimes 2 or 3 times throughout the day. Hal reports on events often days or weeks before anyone else reports on them and he also reports on events that are never covered in any news source. Daisy you might want to go to his website and check out his platform and see if you could do something like he is doing. At the end of each month he conducts a voluntary fundraising event to raise about $5,000 for his operating expenses. In May he collected over $8,000 because his listeners and readers knew he had incurred expenses to replace the roof on his house and chipped in to help him. How does it get any better than that!?

  • Sigh.. no one is attacking you/OP. When I first saw your headline, my first suspect was Gym Jordan but wasn’t surprised to see unctuous Issa’s name in the article. You want to experience real censorship go to China, Russia, Iraq, Iran (to name a few of the major “players”). A private business has every right to do business or NOT do business with individual(s)/companies.

  • Wow Daisy, What a nightmare. I wonder why the bigger YouTube channels (200k plus subscribers) with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of views who post the same exact controversial content in same topic areas don’t appear to be targeted in the same way you are. Sometimes I think YouTube who are connected to Google let the content pass because they are monitoring who is subscribing and commenting via their Gmail accounts which you now need to sign in to YouTube.

    Your Europe content is so great. When you move back to the U.S. I’ve been hearing great things about West Virginia from some prepper minded people. By far one of the top cheapest places in the states to buy and rent property if you need a stable base in the U.S. with freedom to travel. There are pockets of small cities with more amenities and diversity, in terms of presence of “outsiders” aka transplants, but still stunningly beautiful mountains, forests, and rural everywhere, lots of water, low crime. There are smaller places commutable to well regarded, more modern small cities like Morgantown, Charleston, South Charleston and a few other names I’m not remembering. The state has its downside especially in certain areas – poverty, drug problems, and on the other hand small places that are too insular, as well as snowy winter (although extremely scenic, skiing etc) but maybe a middle ground worth researching because of the great geographical attributes, low population density and way more affordable housing with central location.

  • If your site is defunded by your advert partner, why are we still being subjected to wall-to-wall ads and clickbait?

    I won’t advocate for subscriber only, but you could appeal to your readers for value4value donations.

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