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The anti-free speech ecosystem

Did you know that there are far-right people gathering, somewhere, maybe under your bed, perhaps in a shed right now and ‘spreading misinformation’ and hate? Honestly you cannot swing a cat these days before you hit someone who is spreading hate or misinformation or disinformation or indeed conspiracies. They seem to be everywhere. As such you must have people, self-appointed people, authorities who can counter all of this hate and do some fact-checking.

This is according to the Irish national broadcaster, RTÉ, who have run with a report from a group called, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

Unsurprisingly it was also the lead in a slightly hysterical report from the Irish Times.

The name Institute for Strategic Dialogue sounds really fancy, really serious, what with using the words strategic and dialogue, which is much more complex and cleverer than just normal dialogue, conversation, talking, chit-chat or mere gossip.

They must know what they are doing. They have just released a report called on an Investigation into online mis- and disinformation ecosystems in Ireland. 

Sure enough, RTÉ ran with it like it was gospel. RTÉ, “New research on the spread of online misinformation and disinformation in Ireland has revealed that the influence of the far-right is growing.

The study by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) also shows that tech companies are failing to enforce community guidelines to curb the spread of false, misleading and harmful content on social media platforms.”

In other words, the self-appointed ISD would like more online censorship of views they don’t like. Who do they not like? They don’t like Gript media that uppity start-up that gets quite a lot of traffic online, to name just one.

The ISD, “Gript has emerged as a prominent entity within the Irish mis- and disinformation ecosystem, with their posts consistently gaining some of the highest interactions within the topics analysed. The site was also the most shared media platform for seven out of the nine topics analysed. Please see the appendix for Gript’s response to the claims made in this report.” The report outlines the links that some of Gript’s people have to previous pro-life campaigns in Ireland, so obviously they are the bad guys. Can’t have people who campaign on important issues of justice and human dignity running a media outlet and spreading all that ‘disinformation.’

More from RTÉ, “The study found that activity within the mis- and disinformation ecosystem is growing across all platforms with the number of posts and engagement levels, as well as the number of active accounts, increasing year-on-year between 2020 and 2023.

According to the report, there are clear and obvious enforcement gaps on platforms that allows false, misleading or harmful content to survive. Researchers found that Twitter, now called X, was the platform where the most activity within this mis- and disinformation ecosystem occurred for eight out of the nine topics analysed.”

So there is now a “mis and disinformation ecosystem” and it’s growing. Why can’t they just call it, lies on the internet? And who says and who gets to label what is and is not mis and disinformation?

It seems the likes of the ISD and then taken up by the state broadcaster, who is never ever guilty of spreading misinformation unless you are dealing with a hospital in Gaza being bombed by Israel when in fact it was Hamas.

But I digress! The critical line is: there are clear and obvious enforcement gaps. In other words, the State broadcaster is pushing the line, pushed by the ISD that we need more online censorship of views they don’t like, which are usually most often conservative views.

There may include some low hanging fruit in the form of obvious extreme views to make their call for online censorship look more palatable, but these guys at the Institute for Strategic Studies, along with others such as the Centre for Countering Digital Hate are part of the dangerous pro-censorship and anti-free speech ecosystem, according to me, and I am an authority on these things. I engage in strategic dialogue all the time, I can tell you.

Before and during the war the Nazis used to prevent anyone listening to foreign radio broadcasts in Germany. This call for online censorship is part of the same play book, and it shouldn’t surprise us that state broadcasters lap it up. Who wants the competition in information?

So just who are the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. You can find them and their people here. https://www.isdglobal.org/about/

Their funders include the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and the Open Society Foundation. I’m sure you are just shocked by that.




Laura Perrins is an Irish barrister who lived and worked in the UK for many years, where she was the founder of the Conservative Woman website. She has also written for the Daily Mail, the Catholic Herald, and Chapter House. This article was originally published on her substack and is republished here with her permission.

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Dermot Ellard
10 days ago

RTÉ in their present plight and sensing the tide has turned against them, are getting desperate to hold what market share they have left and are targeting a small and independant media outlet such as Gript, to try and stop the flow of media influence in society slipping from their grasp.

Eamonn Dowling
10 days ago

According to RTE the report was ‘supported’ by the European Media and Information Fund.
One of the authors was Aoife Gallagher who has been appearing on Main Stream Media programmes for a long while now warning about the ‘far right’. So the European Media and Information Fund pay an organisation already known for scaremongering about a ‘far right’ in Ireland to produce a report confirming that the organisation has been correct all along. The institute of Strategic Dialogue could not possibly have drawn any other conclusions than they did without flatly contradicting what they themselves have been saying for ages.
Their report was a foregone conclusion before they even started putting it together . They were hopelessly compromised and totally biased from the start , and could not possibly be in a position to be objective.This ‘report’ is nothing more that a partisan opinion piece masquerading as academic research.It can only have been commissioned with the advance intention of the production of biased conclusions. No professional journalist could possibly believe that such a report, which merely confirms the authors own oft stated opinions, is an objective academic work.
But unfortunately in Ireland today that is precisely what mainstream medIa journalists pretend to believe as they spread their own misinformation and disinformation by , with faux solemnity, compose their biased , compromised, articles on the findings contained within the biased , compromised, report.

James Gough
10 days ago

Is this institute for strategic dialogue a CIA front operation. this is the type of crap that they pull, or am I just another right wing conspiracy theorists?. Seriously though. RTE and the Oirish times know that their lies are not believe anymore. Well done Gript. In a world dominated by lies telling the truth is a lethal weapon and a threat to the power of the establishment liars.

A Call for Honesty
10 days ago

Funny that these far right extremists are faceless or invisible and hiding their manifesto in Ireland. How on earth do they think they will be able to gain followers this way? Perhaps they are hiding under a four leaf shamrock?

10 days ago

East Germany had a similar organisation.

9 days ago


10 days ago

Having studied Nazi Germany a lot I know that to describe Gript media as ‘far right’ is utter nonsense.
Do the people who publish these reports understand what far right actually is??
Is their understanding of the political spectrum really so limited??

If you compare and contrast with an actual car right political system; Nazi Germany you will find that they would not like gript advocate for a cap on the number of migrants and deportation for illegal migrants. Rather they would actually arrest and execute any foreigner coming into the country illegally!!!

Ruaidhrí Murphy
10 days ago

ISD gets funding from the EU.

Mary Reynolds
9 days ago

The UN and EU, Ruaidhrí. Any report the ISD publishes is going to be biased as they are a campaigning propaganda outfit whose purpose is to promote these radical left views. The results of their research will always be in favour of their own views and will be hostile to opposing views. Research must be done by a neutral party, not a party who is aiming for a desired outcome. They used value judgment and bias when they described conservative views as far right and misinformation, a tactic to diminish their worth. A researcher must be neutral. Conservative views do not belong to a fringe group, as they claim. They are based on Christian thinking that has been around for 2000 years and belong to the largest religious group in the world. ISD are a fringe group who came into being some years ago. They are a pressure group who are promoting the transgender cult and who demonise views based on Christianity because they hate Christians and want to close them down and cleanse the west of their views.

David Walsh
8 days ago

The Censorship Industrial Complex consists of a plethora of private and also actual government agencies which now claim to be monitoring the cyberspace for so called mis and dis-information.
Matt Taibbi did a report on the top 50: https://scheerpost.com/2023/05/11/matt-taibbi-report-on-the-censorship-industrial-complex-the-top-50-organizations-to-know/
Ranked 37 the Global Disinformation Index did a ranking of mainstream media according to “risk” that downgraded conservative sources and promoted left wing sources. Taibbi’s list includes the ISD:
“Also funded by the U.S. State Department, the Britain-based ISD offers another smorgasbord of content-suffocation tools, including a “hate-mapper” service and a product called Beam, which “is a multi-lingual, multi-platform capability developed to expose, track and confront information threats online.”

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