A new report published Monday by GreenMedInfo revealed nine of the dark money sources funding the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), an influential nonprofit that allegedly colluded with social media platforms and the White House to censor Children’s Health Defense (CHD), Robert F. Kennedy Jr., CHD’s chairman on leave and others for spreading “disinformation.”
The report identified CCDH’s funders primarily as U.K.-based philanthropic organizations whose directors and trustees are affiliated with legacy media organizations, the U.K. government and major global philanthropic organizations such as the Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation.
Despite claims by Imran Ahmed, CCDH’s CEO and founder, that the organization has “never taken government money,” the report also found at least one of its funders has received U.K. government funding.
“It appears that CCDH may be an astroturf front operation for both NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] and the U.K. government to directly interfere with and target the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens, and this should be a concern for all Americans,” report author Sayer Ji told The Defender.
CCDH famously drafted a list of the so-called “Disinformation Dozen,” which included Kennedy, Dr. Joseph Mercola, the founders of The Truth About Vaccines and The Truth About Cancer websites Ty and Charlene Bollinger, and Ji, founder of the natural health website GreenMedInfo.
CCDH alleged in its report that just 12 accounts produced the majority of “anti-vaccine disinformation” on social media.
Facebook investigated and dismissed the report, releasing a statement saying that “There isn’t any evidence” to support its claims and that the small sample used in CCDH’s analysis was “in no way representative of the hundreds of millions of posts that people have shared about COVID-19 vaccines.”
“There is no justification for [CCDH’s] claim that their data constitute a ‘representative sample’ of the content shared across our apps,” Facebook stated.
Yet, the report was used by the White House and Twitter to censor those individuals and by legacy media outlets such as NPR, The Guardian and countless others to discredit the people on the list.
Despite its baseless claims, the report was extremely effective, Ji said.
Ji told The Defender:
“CCDH’s factually baseless campaign was amplified and disseminated globally by hundreds of colluding media outlets, such that today you can find over 3,400 news articles online uncritically citing their defamatory construct ‘disinformation dozen.’
“This has wrought profound reputational damage, and has dramatically curtailed our ability to share our message, given that over 2 million of our followers have been removed, following the deplatforming efforts of those spreading these lies.”
In Kennedy’s testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives hearing organized by the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government last week, he cited his inclusion on CCDH’s list as part of a “new form of censorship, which is called ‘targeted propaganda,’ where people apply pejoratives like ‘anti-vax’ … to silence me.”
The latest “Twitter Files” released July 18 by investigative journalist Paul D. Thacker detailed how Twitter and the White House used CCHD’s “Disinformation Dozen” report as justification for censoring the people on the list.
Thacker also profiled Ahmed, who previously worked for Merrill Lynch and was a British Labour Party political operative, and is the co-author of “The New Serfdom: The Triumph of Conservative Ideas and How to Defeat Them… .” Ahmed emerged during the pandemic as a “vaccine and disinformation expert,” although lacking any experience that would qualify him as such, Thacker reported.
Thacker raised questions about who funds CCDH and reached out to the organization to investigate, but received no response.
5. It’s run by a British political operative named Imran Ahmed, who wrote “New Serfdom” a book critical of free market ideology.”
QUESTION 1: How did being a Labour Party political operative prepare Ahmed to rebrand himself as an expert in vaccines and disinformation? pic.twitter.com/idV4BtbCIL
— Paul D. Thacker (@thackerpd) July 18, 2023