The latest series of revelations by investigative journalist Paul D. Thacker concerning the organization responsible for creating the list of the “Disinformation Dozen” confirm connections to more dark money sources and to key political and Hollywood figures.
In an article published Monday in Tablet Magazine and on his Substack, Thacker also revealed the organization — a nonprofit called Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) — received anonymous donations of upwards of $1 million and hired a lobbying firm.
Prior to coming up with its “Disinformation Dozen” list, Thacker said, CCDH was part of a campaign to silence independent media and prominent political opponents.
CCDH has since turned its attention to attacking X (formerly Twitter) and its owner, Elon Musk, and supporting the recent passage of a sweeping new censorship bill in the U.K.
According to Thacker, the influence of CCDH and its founder and CEO, Imran Ahmed, on the Biden administration, policymaking circles and mainstream and social media is disproportionately large for a small organization founded and managed by a non-American — raising questions about who, or which entities, are backing CCDH.
Those questions led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to subpoena CCDH in late August. Jordan gave CCDH until Sept. 29 “to produce its communications with the executive branch related to content moderation, the accuracy or truth of content, and the deletion or suppression of content.”
CCDH responded to the subpoena on Sept. 29, claiming it “produced all documents and communications” which were requested. Notably, the letter came on the letterhead of a law firm representing CCDH, instead of from the organization directly, while the publicly viewable online version of the letter does not include the accompanying documents.
In March 2021, CCDH drafted a report and accompanying list of the so-called “Disinformation Dozen,” which included Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman on leave of Children’s Health Defense(CHD), Dr. Joseph Mercola, and Ty and Charlene Bollinger, founders of The Truth About Vaccinesand The Truth About Cancer websites.
The report claimed, “Just twelve anti-vaxxers are responsible for almost two-thirds of anti-vaccine content circulating on social media platforms,” and concluded social media “platforms must act” against these individuals.
In one example, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki cited the CCDH report during a July 2021 press briefing to pressure Facebook into censoring the accounts in question. “There’s about 12 people who are producing 65% of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms,” Psaki claimed.
Thacker, writing for Tablet, said Twitter specifically took action against Kennedy after it received the “Disinformation Dozen” list — and was subjected to White House pressure: