In a significant move, multinational software giant Oracle has terminated its relationship with the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), a British organization funded by the US State Department.
The GDI, known for supplying advertisers with blacklists of conservative websites, has been the subject of controversy in recent times.
Oracle’s Vice President for Corporate Communications, Michael Egbert, announced the decision on Wednesday, stating that the company believes in supporting free speech and aligning with the advertising industry’s values. This change in stance comes after Oracle initially formed a partnership with GDI back in 2021.
During the announcement of their collaboration, Oracle had emphasized the need for an always-on brand safety approach, helping marketers identify suitable environments while avoiding those that could damage their brand. The partnership with GDI aimed to offer an additional layer of protection by using the organization’s risk rating analysis to block domains categorized as high-risk for disinformation.
The recent development follows a similar move by Microsoft over two months ago, when the tech giant temporarily suspended its association with GDI pending an investigation. Microsoft’s advertising subsidiary, Xandr, was found to be using GDI’s “dynamic exclusion list” of conservative media outlets.
Internal data provided by industry whistleblowers to the Washington Examiner revealed that Xandr stopped labeling these conservative websites as “hate speech,” “false/misleading,” or “reprehensible/offensive.” Microsoft’s investigation into the matter is ongoing, and it remains uncertain whether the company will permanently sever ties with GDI.