Pharma-Funded Fact Checkers Control the Internet

Story at-a-glance

  • NewsGuard is a for-profit fact checking organization backed by Big Pharma, Big Tech, the teachers union and the U.S. government

  • NewsGuard has set itself up as the self-appointed global arbiter of what information is “trustworthy” based on nine “credibility and transparency” factors, for information viewed on private electronic devices, in schools and in public libraries. Its true reason for being, however, is to bankrupt alternative media sites by driving away advertisers

  • In late October 2023, Consortium News sued NewsGuard and the U.S. government for defamation and First Amendment violations, arguing the fact checker colluded with U.S. intelligence to suppress foreign policy dissent

  • NewsGuard labeled Consortium News as an “anti-U.S.” media organization, even though NewsGuard only took issue with six of its more than 20,000 articles and none of its videos

  • One of NewsGuard’s CEOs, Louis Gordon Crovitz, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a key player behind The Great Reset. Since its inception, the CFR’s goal has been to undermine U.S. sovereignty and national independence in order to usher in an all-powerful one-world government


Video Link


Pharma-Funded Fact Checkers Control the Internet

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

In the video above, PragerU CEO Marissa Streit takes a look at NewsGuard, a for-profit fact checking organization backed by Big Pharma, Big Tech, the teachers union and the U.S. government.

NewsGuard has set itself up as the self-appointed global arbiter of what information is “trustworthy” based on nine “credibility and transparency” factors, for information viewed on private electronic devices, in schools and in public libraries.1,2

NewsGuard’s $6 million startup was funded in part by the Publicis Groupe,3 one of the largest PR firms in the world.4 Many of the largest drug companies use their services, and the Publicis Health board also consists of a power pack of high-profile individuals with Big Pharma position backgrounds or affiliations.5,6,7,8 I detailed these connections in my October 5, 2021, article, “The Web of Players Trying to Silence Truth.”

NewsGuard Censors Truth, Not Fake News

In the spring of 2020, NewsGuard classified as “fake news” because we reported the SARS-CoV-2 virus as potentially having been leaked from the biosafety level 4 laboratory in Wuhan City, China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fast-forward a year, and the U.S. Congress launched an investigation to explore the lab accident theory after it became apparent that the National Institutes of Health had funded gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Interestingly, an April 16, 2020, report9 by CNN revealed the censorship of articles mentioning the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 may have leaked from the Wuhan BSL4 facility appears to be directed by China, which means NewsGuard has been functionally protecting Chinese interests.

As noted by Streit, if you’re a for-profit company getting paid by Big Pharma, just how neutral and unbiased can you be when fact checking articles that are critical of the industry? It’s a well-known fact that the one with the purse strings has a lot of pull.

The NewsGuard Racket

According to Streit, most of the NewsGuard staff are also “left-leaning activists” who can’t stand non-liberal news outlets like PragerU, The Daily Wire, the Federalist and Breitbart.

She correctly explains how their little game of “unbiased investigation” works. First, they send you an email with a list of accusatory questions on a hot-button issue you’ve addressed on your site. If you respond, they ignore your answers and send you a new list of questions. If you do not respond, you have in their eyes confirmed that you are not a reliable source.

“Heads they win, tails you lose,” Streit says.

No matter which approach you use, NewsGuard will put a fake news label on your site to drive readers away and tell ad agencies and major corporations to steer clear and put their advertising dollars elsewhere.

As noted by Streit, for news outlets that require advertisers to stay afloat, “that can get very expensive, very fast.” Companies can easily be driven out of business this way, and “of course, that’s the plan,” she says.

NewsGuard also serves as a firewall that protects Big Tech companies from accusations of censorship.

When conservative sources say Big Tech is censoring their views, the tech companies simply say, “We didn’t make any judgments. We hired this third-party fact checker and they told us this story, or that website, can’t be trusted.” “In short, NewsGuard enables them to censor speech without leaving any fingerprints,” Streit says.

NewsGuard Sued for Suppressing Foreign Policy Dissent


Also, let’s not forget the U.S. government is sponsoring NewsGuard as well. The U.S. Defense Department has paid NewsGuard $750,00010 “to monitor ‘misinformation’ trends online,” “which is an Orwellian way of saying ‘information that the defense department doesn’t like,” Streit says.

Case in point: In late October 2023, Consortium News sued11,12,13 NewsGuard and the U.S. government for defamation and First Amendment violations, arguing the fact checker colluded with U.S. intelligence to suppress foreign policy dissent. As reported by Consortium News, October 23, 2023:14

“The United States government and internet ‘watchdog’ NewsGuard Technologies, Inc. were sued today in federal court in Manhattan for First Amendment violations and defamation by news organization Consortium for Independent Journalism, a nonprofit that publishes Consortium News.

Consortium News’s court filing charges the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, an element of the Intelligence Community, with contracting with NewsGuard to identify, report and abridge the speech of American media organizations that dissent from U.S. official positions on foreign policy.

In the course of its contract with the Pentagon, NewsGuard is ‘acting jointly or in concert with the United States to coerce news organizations to alter viewpoints’ as to Ukraine, Russia, and Syria, imposing a form of ‘censorship and repression of views’ that differ or dissent from policies of the United States and its allies …

‘When media groups are condemned by the government as ‘anti-U.S.’ and are accused of publishing ‘false content’ because they disagree with U.S. policies, the result is self-censorship and a destruction of the public debate intended by the First Amendment,’ [Consortium News attorney Bruce] Afran said.”

According to the complaint, NewsGuard uses software to tag targeted sites with warning labels that describe the content as “disinformation” or “false content.” In the case of Consortium News, its site was labeled as an “anti-U.S.” media organization, even though NewsGuard only took issue with six of its more than 20,000 articles and none of its videos. According to Consortium News:

“The complaint seeks a permanent injunction declaring the joint program unconstitutional; barring the government and NewsGuard from continuing such practices and more than $13 million in damages for defamation and civil rights violations.”

The U.S. government has also been caught bankrolling the now discredited Global Disinformation Index (GDI), which selectively targeted conservative and non-liberal media.15,16 According to the Washington Examiner,17 the GDI sent blacklists to advertising companies “with the intent of defunding and shutting down websites peddling alleged ‘disinformation.'”

NewsGuard’s Task Is to Silence Alternative Media

The CIA’s Mockingbird18,19 enterprise may have been officially cancelled in 1976, but that doesn’t mean its control over the media ended. If the last three years have shown us anything, it’s that all of mainstream media are now completely controlled.

If you want any variation of opinion from the prevailing narrative, you have to seek out independent news sources, and these sources are what NewsGuard is trying to destroy. Caitlin Johnstone addressed this in a January 2019 article:20

“A report21 seeded throughout the mainstream media by anonymous intelligence officials back in September claimed that US government workers in Cuba had suffered concussion-like brain damage after hearing strange noises in homes and hotels with the most likely culprit being ‘sophisticated microwaves or another type of electromagnetic weapon’ from Russia.

A recording of one such highly sophisticated attack was analyzed by scientists and turned out to be the mating call of the male indies short-tailed cricket22 … The actual story, when stripped of hyperventilating Russia panic, is that some government workers heard some crickets in Cuba …

These are just the latest in a long, ongoing pattern of terrible mass media debacles as reporters eager to demonstrate their unquestioning fealty to the US-centralized empire fall all over themselves to report any story that makes Russia look bad without practicing due diligence.

The only voices who have been questioning the establishment Russia narrative … have been those which the mass media refuses to platform. Alternative media outlets are the only major platforms for dissent from the authorized narratives of the plutocrat-owned political/media class.

Imagine, then, how disastrous it would be if these last strongholds of skepticism and holding power to account were removed from the media landscape. Well, that’s exactly what a shady organization called NewsGuard is trying to do …

A new report23 by journalist Whitney Webb for MintPress News details how NewsGuard is working to hide and demonetize alternative media outlets like MintPress …”

As Johnstone points out, NewsGuard is “led by some of the most virulently pro-imperialist individuals in America,” and that “its agenda to shore up narrative control for the ruling power establishment is clear.”

NewsGuard Linked to Anti-American Council on Foreign Relations

Indeed, one of NewsGuard’s CEOs, Louis Gordon Crovitz, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a key player behind The Great Reset. The CFR is financed in part by the Gates,24 Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie foundations,25 and has influenced U.S. foreign policy ever since its inception 95 years ago.

Almost all U.S. secretaries of defense have been lifetime members, as have most CIA directors. This is of crucial importance, considering the CFR’s goal, from the start, has been to bring about a totalitarian one world government, a New World Order (NWO) with global top-down rule.

Since its inception, the CFR’s goal has been to undermine U.S. sovereignty and national independence in order to usher in an all-powerful one-world government.

In 1950, the son of one of the CFR’s founders, James Warburg, said to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “We shall have world government whether or not you like it — by conquest or consent.”26 Similarly, in 1975 CFR insider Admiral Chester Ward wrote that the goal of the CFR was “submergence of U.S. sovereignty and national independence into an all-powerful one-world government.”27

According to Ward, the desire to “surrender the sovereignty and independence of the United States is pervasive throughout most of its membership,” and “In the entire CFR lexicon, there is no term of revulsion carrying a meaning so deep as ‘America First.'”

With Ward’s last comment in mind, published in 1975, it’s interesting to contemplate who has opposed President Trump’s America First agenda, and why. Many Americans, even if they don’t like or support Trump personally, agree that taking care of America and Americans’ interests first is a rational decision for any leadership, and they’ve been hard-pressed to rationalize how an anti-America First policy can be good for the nation.

Well, Ward gives us the answer. Those who oppose “America First” policies do so because they’re working on behalf of a network that seeks to eliminate nationalism. The idea of government waging war on its own citizens seems completely irrational and inexplicable — until you realize that the CFR has controlled U.S. foreign relations for nearly a century, and its primary goal has always been to undermine U.S. sovereignty and abet the creation of a one-world government.

NewsGuard’s advisory board is also loaded with neocon think tank members, including Tom Ridge (George W. Bush’s secretary of Homeland Security), Michael Hayden (an intelligence community insider), and Richard Stengel (Obama’s under secretary of state for public diplomacy and pubic affairs and a former editor at Time Magazine).

Tellingly, Stengel has publicly stated that he supports28 the use of domestic propaganda against U.S. citizens.29 As noted by Johnstone:

“Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Ruling power’s desire to regulate people’s access to information is so desperate that it has become as clumsy and ham-fisted as a teenager pawing at his date in the back seat of a car, and it feels about as enjoyable.

They’re barely even concealing their desire to control our minds anymore, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to wake everyone up to their manipulations. We need to use every inch of our ability to communicate with each other before it gets shut down for good.”

‘Middleware’ — The Latest Plan to Shut Down Free Speech

In an August 1, 2023, video posted to Twitter/X, Mike Benz,30 executive director of the Foundation for Freedom Online, reviewed the latest strategy in the global effort to shut down free speech. It’s called “middleware.” Middleware refers to third-party censorship organizations, such as NewsGuard.

In short, they’re trying to restructure the censorship industry “away from a top-down government-driven model” to a “competitive middleware model” where “content curation” (read censorship) is simply outsourced to third-party organizations.

This way, a “legal” disinformation compliance market is created while government can claim it has nothing to do with the control of information. Basically, what we’re looking at is the emergence of organized global corporate censorship. Of course, artificial intelligence will also be more broadly employed to “identify and slow the spread of false and harmful content.”31

NewsGuard is also reportedly working with the European Union on a new “disinformation code” to uphold new global standards from the European Commission, which compels brands and ad tech companies to prevent advertising on sites that publish “misinformation.”32 Again, this is all about shutting down alternative media by starving them of ad revenue.

In late October 2023, Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, rebranded X, called out NewsGuard’s ratings as a “scam,” saying it ought to be “disbanded immediately.”33

Musk’s statement came in response to posts by Benz and Timcast news CEO Tim Pool, who said NewsGuard downrated his site “because we ran five stories out of nearly 5,000 that quoted Trump. They claimed that reporting on Trump’s statements was irresponsible because we should be fact checking him instead and Trump was wrong. They now claim we don’t correct errors because we didn’t respond to their false claims last month.”34

What You Can Do to Stop This Abuse

In the final analysis, NewsGuard is just another business aimed at protecting the globalist alliance of governments and private corporations that are trying to implement a totalitarian one world government regime. They do that by discrediting and eliminating unwanted competitors and analysts who empower you with information that runs counter to the official narrative.

You can learn more about NewsGuard in my previous article, “Thought Police NewsGuard Is Owned by Big Pharma.”

If you’re as disturbed by the growing censorship as I am, be sure to contact your local library today to find out if they’re using NewsGuard. If they are, then ask them if they’re aware of NewsGuard’s censorship of truthful news that is now encroaching on scientific freedom and threatening the very roots of our democracy.

If your local library is using NewsGuard, start a campaign to get it removed. Also, warn your social circle about using NewsGuard. As noted by Streit:

“If you don’t want to think for yourself anymore, NewsGuard has got you covered. But if you do want to think for yourself, you’ve been warned. If NewsGuard has red-flagged a source, all you need to know is that the Left doesn’t want you to read it, watch it or hear it. And what does that make you want to do?”


Sources and References:


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