(LifeSiteNews) — Elon Musk has slammed the news rating organization NewsGuard, calling it a “scam” that “should be disbanded immediately” after learning about its cooperation with the European Union’s online regulators.
Musk responded to a post on X (formerly Twitter) by former Trump State Department official Michael Benz, who pointed to the connection between NewsGuard and the E.U.’s new “disinformation code” called the Digital Services Act (DSA).
The tech billionaire directed a question at E.U. Commissioner Thierry Breton, who is currently leading an investigation into X due to the charge of spreading “misinformation,” asking him if Benz’s reporting was correct.
“If so, the people of Europe deserve an explanation,” Musk wrote.
In a related post, journalist and podcaster Tim Pool described his experience with NewsGuard, saying that his outlet received a strike “because we ran 5 stories out of nearly 5,000 that quoted Trump.”
“Meanwhile [The Wall Street Journal], [The New York Times], and more ran fake stories out of Gaza and get 100%,” Pool lamented.
“What a scam!” Musk wrote in response, adding, “’Newsguard’ should be disbanded immediately.”
Newsguard gave us a strike because we ran 5 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 dont correct errors because we…
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) October 19, 2023
NewsGuard’s connection with the E.U. is evident, as the organization announced in February 2022 “a collaboration with the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, to provide the EC service with its data monitoring that tracks online misinformation.”
NewsGuard provides a rating system for the alleged reliability of news outlets. The organization claims to be “apolitical,” but it has shown a clear bias against conservative and alternative news outlets while giving mainstream media outlets perfect ratings.
In its 2022 “Misinformation White Paper,” NewsGuard alluded to the fact that stances questioning establishment positions lend to poor ratings, writing that “a large number of NewsGuard red-rated sites during the German Federal Election in 2021” were “proliferating anti-vaccination, anti-lockdown, and anti-climate protection content.”
The conservative media organization PragerU has told The Epoch Times that it was asked by NewsGuard “to stop criticizing the COVID-19 lockdown policies, stop questioning the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, and “stop talking about any COVID-19 treatments not endorsed by the government” as a condition of having its red label lifted.
In the negative “Nutrition Label” that LifeSiteNews has received, NewsGuard wrongly claimed that a “July 2018 piece headlined ‘Republican bill would stop US embassies flying gay ‘pride’ flags’ does not note that the legislation bans the flying of any flag other than the American flag.” In fact, the report in question notes exactly that in its opening sentence and two additional times in the body of the piece.
NewsGuard’s connection to the E.U. is not the organization’s only link to government agencies. In 2021, the Department of Defense awarded NewsGuard $750,000 for its project “Misinformation Fingerprints,” which aims to combat what it calls “a catalogue of known hoaxes, falsehoods and misinformation narratives that are spreading online.”