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Elon Musk: Global Disinformation Index should be shut down

Musk used his social media platform X to criticise the GDI. Credit: Getty

April 19, 2024 - 4:10pm

Elon Musk has claimed that the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) “should be shut down” in response to an UnHerd investigation into the company.

The billionaire X CEO was responding to a post on the social media platform by UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers, and suggested that there should be “recriminations for miscreants” in reference to the GDI.

Also criticising the GDI on X was Sridhar Vembu, an Indian billionaire and CEO of the Zoho corporation, who said that the index was a “global-left censor board” and that most of the international indexes which rank countries on a variety of criteria share this political agenda.

The GDI is based in London and was originally founded in 2018 to help combat disinformation, receiving funding from various sources including the US State Department. It claims to provide “independent, neutral and transparent data and intelligence” for government bodies seeking to challenge “disinformation”.

Earlier this week UnHerd published an investigation which found that fact-checking organisations, including the Global Disinformation Index, were labelling political opinions, particularly those on the Right, as disinformation.

UnHerd was targeted by the GDI, which said that a place on its “dynamic exclusion list” of publications was merited due to the site having “anti-LGBTQI+ narratives” and being “anti-trans”, equating widely-held views on gender to disinformation.

Kathleen Stock, an UnHerd columnist highly commended at last night’s Press Awards, was labelled a “prominent gender-critical feminist” by the GDI and used as an example of disinformation.

Despite his criticism of the GDI, it was reported in 2023 by the Washington Examiner that Musk had partnered with the companies affiliated with the index to tackle disinformation on X.

The site has been widely praised for the success of the flagship “Community Notes” feature, which allows users to rate the accuracy of posts on the platform and combat disinformation internally, leading to notes on politicians as well as high-level organisations.


is UnHerd’s Editorial Trainee.

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Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago

I hope that someone’s able to sue GDI for defamation or loss of income from the quite unjustified damage they’re doing.

Josh Allan
Josh Allan
1 month ago

Nice work!

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago

Why can’t a moderate or right of centre organisation be established to provide a Disinformation Index targeting Leftist lies and disinformation. The lie that men can become women by identifying as women. The lie that Western nations invented slavery. The lie that slavery was not first suppressed by Britain and then other Western nations. The lie that the Anglican Church and other official UK based organisations are institutionally racist. The lie that discrimination against whites is not racist. The lie that immigration is beneficial to most of the indigenous population. All the propagandists of these common lies ought to have government funds cut off at least.

Let us at least have a level playing field so that Leftist lies can face the same level of scrutiny as the GDI seeks to apply to views that offend the GDI’s directors.

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Understand where you are coming from BUT there are 2 weaknesses (or are they strengths?) to right(ish) politics :
1 Not wanting to be untrue to our beliefs even if our opponents use unethical tactics against us and they seem to be effective
2. Not being interested in taking jobs where we can boss other people about and control their actions. Rather we just want to live our lives and leave others to do the same.

Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Or so I was brought up to believe.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

I joined Unherd as a direct result of reading about this. So it didn’t work with me..I increased the income of Unherd. No thanks needed.

Andrew Holmes
Andrew Holmes
1 month ago

In the US, the entire panoply of NGOs financed by the local, state, and federal governments should be listed, with the ostensible justification, on accessible, searchable databases. I believe that access to the public will yield much information about malfeasance and corruption.NGOs are a great way to purchase a group’s political support and to direct money for individual enrichment.