As per Patronis' statement issued on Wednesday, the activities of the 'journalism tool,' which rates the credibility of news, are linked to the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) complex. Despite bias, NewsGuard's actions could pave the way to a larger plan to create "social credit scores" for debanking and deplatforming private entities, the state official pointed out.
In Partonis' sharply worded letter to the company's co-CEOs Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz, he straightforwardly expressed how NewsGuard is creating an image as though it is some kind of a "judge of truth." "This activity is similar to other organizations who ranked and categorized businesses as part of corrupt ESG practices," he emphasized, adding that the activities may have far-reaching consequences for the company's clients, as they may trigger Florida's divestment laws.
"The company may be subject to legislative scrutiny in the upcoming legislative session. Moreover, if your actions target any Florida business, as someone who's charged with protecting Florida's economy and economic vitality, I will not hesitate to use the full force of my office to shed light on the organization you're running," Patronis further warned.
NewsGuard provides ratings of news outlets according to nine "apolitical" criteria that "assess credibility and transparency." All criteria are pass or fail, meaning that a site either receives all of the points associated with the criterion or receives no points for that criterion. The ratings are then passed on to tech corporations and social media sites to "inform" their users which media outlets to trust or not. "NewsGuard data helps individuals, governments, companies, and organizations fight misinformation and teach media literacy through data integrations and other partnerships," the company claims on its website.
Critics could not help but doubt the credibility of the censorship company as well, especially since recent evidence has been coming out to prove how big government and even the FBI have been colluding with tech giants in "killing the freedom of speech." The House Judiciary Committee recently released a report on how the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is under the Department of Homeland Security, connived with Big Tech and "disinformation" partners to censor Americans. Also, during a recent hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray faced a barrage of allegations from Republicans, who argued that the FBI censored conservative opinions on social media and for running "illegal scrutiny of U.S. citizens under a foreign surveillance law." (Related: Rogue agency CISA connives with Big Tech to censor speech and manipulate the lives of Americans.)
Florida Standard's Jonas Vesterberg disclosed in an article dated March 3, that NewsGuard maintains close ties with the U.S. national security complex.
"On its board of advisors are several household names from that sector, such as former National Security Agency (NSA) Director General Michael Hayden, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, and former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen," the article read.
Reports have been circulating that news outlets that decline to obey and take directions from the government or big corporations have been allegedly harassed by NewsGuard.
Newsguard is a tool of mass suppression aimed directly at alternative media. Ex-DHS Director Tom Ridge - creator of the post-9/11 fearmongering color code terror alerts - is on its board. No surprise Newsguard plans to assign dissenting outlets with red color codes & de-rank them. https://t.co/RhyDnwqtDW
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) January 15, 2019
"Do you seriously expect us to grovel for approval from the same tentacle of the national security state and financial oligarchy that has rated CNN as a highly credible news source, and whose board of advisors is a grotesque gallery of corporate propagandists, spooks, documented liars, and war criminals who have never faced a scintilla of accountability for their actions?"' Investigative journalist Max Blumenthal of the Greyzone wrote as a reaction to NewsGuard's emailed questions about the site's editorial practices.
He cited how the board of advisors and listed partners used the platform's influence to carry on various acts of political "malpractices" and propaganda. "NewsGuard is funded by and deeply connected to the U.S. government, neo-conservatives, and powerful monied interests, all of whom have been working overtime since the 2016 election to silence dissent to American forever-wars and corporate-led oligarchy," Blumenthal said citing journalist Whitney Webb's report in Mint Press News.
He ended the email with stern feedback, emphasizing that his news outlet is accountable to the grassroots audience and not to the censorship company. He ended it with: "Publish this reply in full, or not at all."
Meanwhile, the Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Standard, Will Witt, did not respond to the company's request for information. "We refuse to participate in any censorship schemes or to legitimize NewsGuard and its authoritarian business model in any way, shape, or form. We are accountable to our readers and to the pursuit of truth," Witt stressed.