"I was just offered $400 to make an anti-Donald Trump propaganda post related to the January 6 investigation that is completely not true," Preston Moore, Esq. said in the video. The Good Information Foundation, headed by Rick Stengel, Former Under Secretary of State in Obama administration, emphasizes that "America is in an information crisis," and that "disinformation is threatening public health, safety, social trust and democracy."
Moore emphasized that he's not a Trump supporter to "give a little bit of context," and noted that he's an attorney who posts legal news on TikTok. Other videos on his channel include discussions of the special master that was appointed to review documents seized by the FBI from Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, on the Parkland school shooter, on the Constitution, or other matters.
Then he launched into what happened, saying: "I get an email from somebody at the Good Information Foundation." That person, he said, obscuring the name, "sent me a message letting me know she represented the Good Information Foundation and that she was willing to offer a paid collaboration to discuss some topics related to January 6.
"I said 'sure, why not,' I'll learn some more," he said. He learned that the Good Information Foundation would pay him $400 to make a post on his page and share it to Instagram, and that there were specific bullet points that they'd like him to hit to earn that fee.
The Good Information Foundation allegedly sent him "Important Notes" as to what to say in the video.
"Say 'criminal conspiracy', not 'attempted coup,' 'treason' or 'insurrection'.
"Say 'Trump Republicans', not 'Trump and his allies.'
"Say 'January 6 investigation', not 'hearing' or 'trial.'
"Call this an 'attack on our country' or an attack on 'America' or on 'Americans' and a 'criminal conspiracy,' 'committed crime.'
"Talk about 'MAGA Republicans' etc.
"Make clear this is ongoing and unresolved, not past and done.
"Show voter agency, turn the anger into defense.
The correspondence asked additionally for "key messaging," including to "Remind your followers about the images and scenes from the January 6th insurrection." The Good Information Foundation gave an example of what should be said as regards this, suggesting "Example: 'You probably saw this [greenscreen of Jan 6th violence] happen but what a lot of people don't know is that the violence on January 6 was actually planned and paid for by Trump Republicans.'"
"Talk about the many aspects of their plan and the broad involvement of Trump officials, members of Congress [redacted]..." The Good Information Foundation suggests the example "The Trump campaign paid literally millions of dollars to make January 6th happen."
They also suggest that Moore say "It's important to know that this wasn't a one day thing—there is an ongoing threat of political violence or MAGA Rebublicans trying to overturn elections." He is also meant to emphasize the ongoing hearings of the January 6 Committee, with more coming up in September.
"And most importantly," Moore said, the Good Information Foundatiuon said that he "must channel all of this on to the manipulation of voter agencies so that I could turn their anger around this event into defiance that would make people more likely to vote in midterms."
Moore pushed back against the Good Information Project, asking his contact "what is the basis for the claim that the Trump campaign itself paid millions of dollars to make the January 6 seat at the Capitol happen?"
The Good Information Foundation didn't answer that question, instead saying that he didn't have to say that if he didn't want to. It's evident, however, that the Good Info Foundation hasn't just asked one TikTok lawyer to engage in this kind of video-making, but that this is a concerted effort to push false information onto the American public via social media influencers.
"Let me know if you are interested and the rate works for you," the contact wrote to Moore.
For his part, Moore was not interested. He noted that "They boast on their homepage that good information is the lifeblood of a democracy."
Indeed, they do. The Good Information Foundation, an IRS designated not-for-profit charitable organization, engages in what they call The Civic News Initiative, which is likely what their reach out to Moore was in support of. "Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office," the IRS specifies.
"The Good Information Foundation will build a network of local freelance editors, reporters, content producers and community organizers," they write, "committed to producing and distributing factual, value-driven news and content to the communities in which they live. The Good Information Foundation will compensate them to publish their original reporting online and offer the content free of charge to any global, national, state or local news organizations looking to bolster their reporting capacity and coverage within those communities and geographies."
Additionally, they claim as their mission that they intend "to increase the flow of good, factual information online to counter and rebut the spread of misinformation and disinformation. We do this by creating, incubating, funding and lifting up fact-based solutions, voices, programs and initiatives that can be quickly developed, tested and deployed at scale. We are on offense against disinformation."
Despite the communciation sent to Moore about spreading unsubstantiated misinformation— for a fee— the Good Information Foundation states they they "Develop and deliver factual, relevant and local information to specific populations who live in news deserts, are under-reached by trusted news organizations, and who are vulnerable to being reached with bad information; Develop training programs and curriculum for young journalists, content creators and organizers committed to building a better internet and fact-based media ecosystem; Produce new research, case studies and thought leadership that identify, measure and elevate new solutions to countering and diluting the effects of disinformation on vulnerable communities.
"Develop civic education, training and communication programs that help increase informed civic participation among lower-voting and non-voting communities.
"Provide direct support to mission-aligned organizations and individuals working at the forefront of the information crisis to scale tested efforts to increase the flow of good information online." They continue to say that they are "committed to restoring social trust and strengthening democracy by investing in solutions that counter disinformation and increase the flow of good information online."
The Good Information Foundation has been reached for comment.
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