Microsoft Allows ‘Blacklisted’ Conservative Sites Back Into Advertising Program



Microsoft has reversed a decision to add negative ad revenue flags for conservative media outlets which were contained on a “disinformation” tracking group’s blacklist which used to demonetize speech that does not comport with ‘acceptable’ narratives, according to information obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Xandr, a major advertising company owned by Microsoft, was secretly adhering to a blacklist compiled by the Global Disinformation Index – a UK organization which has two affiliated nonprofit groups.

Now, as Microsoft appears to be taking steps to distance itself from GDI , the company has, for the time being, deleted flags such as “false/misleading” and “reprehensible/offensive” for right-leaning websites, data show. -Washington Examiner

“I just checked in Xandr’s platform again and can confirm that all rejection flags have been removed from domains,” a senior ad executive told the Examiner, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In addition to the Examiner itself, Xandr had labeled 39 conservative domains as overwhelmingly “false/misleading.” Christian site Townhall, meanwhile, was labeled as “reprehensible/offensive.” 

Other sites labeled “false/misleading” included the Washington Examiner, the Daily Wire, RealClearPolitics, Drudge Report, Newsmax, Breitbart, the Blaze, the Washington Times, Judicial Watch, and MRC.TV, which is under the Media Research Center, according to the report.

Now, an updated Xandr dataset provided to the Washington Examiner reveals that the above websites no longer have a designation – however it’s unclear whether this means they’re featuring the same ads as websites with an “approved” classification.

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


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