Sen. Ernst slams Biden for shelling out $5M for tool dedicated to policing free speech

With so much taxpayer money going to so many woke causes, it’s hard to keep track of them all, but Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) took to Twitter on Thursday to remind followers that President Joe Biden has handed $5 million to an Orwellian journalism and tech non-profit tasked with creating a “naughty and nice” list of organizations and media based on what he deems is trustworthy.

As BizPac Review reported earlier this month, the National Science Foundation (NSF) —  whose mission is to “protect and improve human health” — threw $5 million to a group led by Hacks/Hackers, which, according to its website is an “international grassroots community of people who seek to inspire and inform each other to build the future of media.”

The group employs what it calls the Analysis and Response Toolkit for Trust (ARTT), “a suite of expert-informed resources that are intended to provide guidance and encouragement to individuals and communities as they address contentious or difficult topics online.”

“Users are encouraged to paste in their friends’ Twitter and Facebook posts, and the tool will tell them how ‘harmful’ they are,” the Daily Wire reported. “Then it ‘suggests relevant responses through tailored response examples or templates’ that the user should copy and paste as a reply, according to a video demonstrating the software.”

According to Fox News Digital, “Hacks/Hackers is also in the process of developing a rating and categorization scale for the reliability of sources and utilizing their tools on Wikipedia to determine ‘credible sources’ for readers.”

“@POTUS is paying more than $5M to a group called Hacks/Hackers which is making lists of orgs & media they think should & should not be trusted,” Ernst tweeted. “They’ve basically created a naughty & nice list to police the content posted by family & friends. #MakeEmSqueal.”

https://twitter.com/SenJoniErnst/status/1605980088750612481?s=20&t=NZ2gQ4HGwJDmCCaXDZo2Ig

So far, the Hacks/Hackers pet project has predictably slapped such conservative sources as The Daily Wire and the Daily Mail with an “unreliable” label, while liberal outlets such as Vox, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, and The Guardian have all been blessed with “reliable” ratings, according to Fox News.

For right-leaning outlets such as the one you are now reading, it’s a frustrating and familiar story.

This isn’t the first time the federal government has joined up with a group of fact-checking fascists, and the results are often far more devastating to conservative businesses than the causal reader might at first assume.

When NewsGuard, which is partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department, decided American Wire News and our sister publication, BizPac Review, were “untrustworthy” due to our determination to present views that tend to contradict the official White House narrative, we went on a list that was distributed by NewsGuard to potential advertisers.

Fearful of the reprisals that now come with being associated with a media outlet that has been accused of spreading “misinformation,” a longtime vendor — the one who managed our comments sections — promptly dropped us, leaving us to scramble for a way to stay connected with our readers’ thoughts on a variety of subjects.

 

After a lengthy war with the fact-checkers in which we successfully countered their allegations, NewsGuard saw fit to restore our “green check” rating, but the damage was done.

It’s an online battle for the First Amendment that is playing out over and over again, with conservative media outlets being scorned as pariahs while those that toe the line get a pass on stories that have later been proven false, such as the Russia collusion hoax, the origins of COVID-19, and the efficacy and safety of mRNA vaccines.

This latest offering from Hacks/Hackers is no different.

“If you dare to share from the naughty list, instead of coal you’ll get trolled,” Ernst told Fox News Digital. “And instead of stockings stuffed with treats, you might just get ‘stalkings’ online and censorship under the tree!”

In a recent announcement, Hacks/Hackers revealed that its project has entered Phase II and will be awarded still more money from the federal government.

“Phase II of the ARTT project is led by Hacks/Hackers, a non-profit organization focused on journalism and technology, and the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington,” Hacks/Hackers said. Throughout Phase I, a variety of organizations including Wikimedia DC, MuckRock Foundation, and Social Science Research Council collaborated and partnered in the project,” Hacks/Hackers said.

And in case you’re still wondering what sources are informing the group, a news article on its website proudly states, “Additional advising in Phase I has come from members of WHO’s Vaccine Safety Net.”

It would be at least somewhat gratifying if, as conservatives, we could simply point to the Democrats in charge and scream “Big Brother!,” but the truth is, we must thank our own so-called “Republican” leaders for the role they have actively played in funding anti-American programs such as this.

With the passage of the disastrous $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and those RINOs who voted with him rubber-stamped additional funding for the National Science Foundation, which, in turn, gave birth to the abysmal ARTT.

“Page 225 of the omnibus bill designates funding to the National Science Foundation, which includes the foundation’s research and related activities, major research equipment and facilities, stem education, agency operations and award management, and The Office of the National Science Board,” Fox News Digital reports. “The bill passed the Senate on Thursday with a 68-29 vote.”

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