‘Misinformation Fingerprints:’ The Pentagon Awarded ‘Fact-Checking’ Org NewsGuard a $750K Contract Last Year

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In yet more evidence of the federal government/Deep State’s vested interest in advancing internet censorship (or, as they call it, tackling “misinformation”), the Department of Defense awarded NewsGuard Technologies a $750,000 contract in September of 2021 for the organization’s “misinformation fingerprints” project.

NewsGuard, which has been the subject of extensive Breitbart News reporting, is an establishment-backed project that aims to “rate” news outlets, policing the internet by telling users which news sources can be trusted and which ones cannot.

According to USASpending.gov, the contract was awarded for NewsGuard’s “misinformation fingerprints” project, which it describes as a “a catalogue of known hoaxes, falsehoods and misinformation narratives that are spreading online.”

It is unclear if hoaxes embraced by the establishment, such as the notion that material found on Hunter Biden’s laptop was “Russian disinformation,” are in NewsGuard’s “misinformation fingerprints” database.

NewsGuard’s own co-founder, Steve Brill, spread that false claim, as did advisory board member and notorious political partisan Michael Hayden.

Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz, co-CEOs of NewsGuard

Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz, co-CEOs of NewsGuard (D Dipasupil and Stephen Chernin /Getty)

According to NewsGuard, the “misinformation fingerprints” project aims to power AI surveillance of disapproved information:

NewsGuard’s growing database of Misinformation Fingerprints™, a catalogue of known hoaxes, falsehoods and misinformation narratives that are spreading online. The dataset for each narrative includes a description of each hoax and why it is false, examples of stories, social media posts, videos, and other content containing the hoax, and related keywords and hashtags. Because these elements—language, hashtags, etc.—are unique to each hoax, each “fingerprint” becomes a unique identifier that can be combined with AI and social listening tools to identify the initial source of the hoax and instances in which the hoax is repeated or amplified on social networks or the open web.

In a comment to Breitbart News, NewsGuard general manager Matt Skibinski said his organization had a longstanding relationship with the defense establishment — one that began right under President Donald Trump’s nose. Skibinski also emphasized that NewsGuard’s work with the pentagon focuses on foreign media sources, not domestic.

“Our work with US government defense agencies, which we describe on our website, is focused on monitoring foreign state-sponsored media sources, such as those operated by China and Russia, and tracking the false claims those sources promote,” said Skibinski.

“That work is not focused at all on domestic news sources, which are protected by the First Amendment.”

“We started the first phase of that work in 2020, under the Trump Administration, working with the Pentagon and the Mike Pompeo-led State Department. This work is currently focused on Russian disinformation about its war in Ukraine.”

NewsGuard has a track record of giving negative ratings to conservative-leaning publications, while giving a positive “green” rating to establishment media outlets with a track record of publishing hoaxes, like Rolling Stone. NewsGuard recently partnered with a major teacher’s union to teach kids how to spot “misinformation.”

The Biden administration has repeatedly sought to deploy federal power and influence to curb the spread of disapproved information on social media platforms.

This week, the administration announced the creation of a “disinformation governance board” at the Department of Homeland Security, led by an identitarian progressive,  Nina Jankowicz, who has argued that online mockery of the Vice President is a threat to national security, and called on governments to work together to stop “gender misinformation.”

Jankowicz is so committed to the cause of curbing disapproved information online that she has made TikTok songs about the issue, calling herself the “Mary Poppins of disinformation.”

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


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