GDI Disinformation ‘Expert’ Danny Rogers: Cannot Deprogram People Who Put ‘MAGA on Their Headstones’ from Disinformation

A supporter of Former US President Donald Trump wears a "Make America Great Again" hat during a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, US, on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. The 2022 election season kicked off with Republicans poised to take control of at least the House thanks to voter outrage over high …
Dustin Franz/Bloomberg via Getty

Dr. Daniel Rogers, the cofounder and executive director of the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a group funded by George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, claimed supporters of former President Donald Trump cannot be deprogrammed from alleged disinformation.

Rogers, speaking of groups that spread counter-messaging to disinformation, claimed in a February 2022 presentation to Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy, that:

Obviously, there’s the category of people who are going to put hashtag ‘MAGA’ on their headstones, and we’re not ever going to reach them but there’s a whole category of people kind of in the middle coming to the fact that these attention driven news feeds naturally serve as more adversarial and angry content and having to fight back with buying up that space to counteract that tailwind and the opposition. [Emphasis added]

Rogers admitted GDI is a “data-driven advocacy organization” [emphasis added] despite its pledges of neutrality and independence.

He also bashed Breitbart News’ news coverage of immigrant crime as “anti-immigrant violence.” To Rogers, accurate news coverage is “violence.”


Breitbart News and other conservative outlets have reported on how Microsoft’s ad network, Xandr, suspended its relationship with GDI pending review. Breitbart News and other outlets have noted how Xandr has used GDI’s Dynamic Exclusion List to blacklist conservative media outlets. Xandr has reportedly – at least temporarily – removed the negative flags for conservative media.

Rogers  has an extensive relationship with the American intelligence community:

Before GDI, he founded and led Terbium Labs, an information security and dark web intelligence startup, and worked in the American intelligence community. He also serves as an adjunct professor at New York University and is a fellow at the Truman National Security project where Biden National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, is a Board Member. Sullivan was one of the ringleaders of the Trump/Russia disinformation narrative.

During the February 2022 discussion with Princeton University students, Rogers cited Breitbart News as one of his “favorites,” to describe those who spread adversarial narratives.

Rogers criticized Breitbart News’s coverage of crimes committed by illegal immigrants as:

… technically true local stories that happened to be people who are immigrants or in this case undocumented immigrants, and each one of these stories would fact check to be correct and yet we all recognize even if we’re not entirely sure how to put our finger on it. But, it really does serve us as a more useful example around which we can build a useful definition of disinformation that goes beyond the simple true false dichotomy. [Emphasis added]

Basically, Rogers cherry-picked a handful of Breitbart News stories about crimes committed by illegal immigrants from the thousands upon thousands of Breitbart News stories covering crime daily committed by U.S. citizens in an intellectually dishonest attempt to misrepresent Breitbart News, i.e., he himself peddled disinformation about Breitbart News.

In his lecture, he described “adversarial narrative conflict” as:

  • Can be implicit or explicit
  • Are intentionally misleading
  • Are adversarial against an at-risk individual or group, or an institution like science, medicine, or democratically-elected government
  • Most importantly, create a risk of harm

He also described potential adversarial narratives as “anti-immigrant, misogyny, anti-vax,” and others.

“If we go back to the Breitbart immigrant crimes section that’s clearly the kind of content that feeds anti-immigrant violence.”

Princeton Professor Jacob Shapiro asked how Rogers can differentiate what is a “legitimate adversarial narrative” because Rogers’ definition would capture a “huge share of politics.”

Rogers admitted he is not a “deeply trained political scientist” and claimed GDI is “strictly neutral.” He later said in the discussion the group is a “data-driven advocacy organization.” [Emphasis added]

He said that there are other organizations such as the Center for Countering Digital Hate and Sleeping Giants that, in a similar manner to GDI, help with “platform-level intervention.” Rogers also said that groups such as Reality Team buy up counter-messaging advertising. He cited We Can Do This and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) as other groups that can do counter-messaging.

As Breitbart News noted, GDI, which is funded by the Open Society Foundations, which was founded by George Soros, has injected itself onto the American media landscape to blacklist media outlets by choking off their advertising revenue via its Dynamic Exclusion List: however, GDI has continued to ignore the inaccuracies, biases, and targeting narratives of establishment, left-wing outlets such as the New York Times, NRP, and HuffPost. And, GDI has refused to disclose its Dynamic Exclusion List in response to multiple Breitbart News inquiries.

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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