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.