NewsGuard Rating Groups Sued For Defamation

( – On Oct. 23, Consortium News filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against NewsGuard as well as the Department of Defense, accusing them of defamation and First Amendment violations.

Founded by journalist Robert Parry, Consortium News is known for its criticism of the foreign policy of the United States. NewsGuard, a fact-checking website that claims to be “apolitical,” rates news outlets by their alleged reliability.

The lawsuit was filed after NewsGuard labeled 20,000 pieces of content that had been published by Consortium News since 1995, including videos, as “disinformation” and “false content” even though NewsGuard only took issue with six of the articles that had been published by Consortium News.

A bias has been shown by NewsGuard against news outlets that are conservative as well as those news outlets that are alternative while mainstream media news outlets are given perfect ratings.

In 2021, the Department of Defense gave NewsGuard $750,000 for its project, “Misinformation Fingerprints.” The project aimed to stop online discussion that is spreading “hoaxes, falsehoods and misinformation.” According to the publisher of Consortium News, the program coerced news organizations to “alter viewpoints” that were not aligned with United States policies or its allies’ policies. NewsGuard has also been collaborating with the European Union.

The lawsuit seeks $13 million in damages as well as a permanent injunction declaring the “Misinformation Fingerprints” project unconstitutional.

Many have spoken out against NewsGuard. Elon Musk stated that NewsGuard is a “scam” that should immediately “be disbanded.” Musk has also stated that NewsGuard pushes “a political agenda in the name of ‘guarding’ the public.”

In March, Florida Rep. Neal Dunn stated that it was “appalling” and a “violation of the First Amendment” to have a fact-checker that is censoring Americans being funded by a government grant.

“This is how regimes control the narrative,” Ric Grenell, the former acting Director of National Intelligence during the Trump administration, said in March.

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