The Center for Countering Digital Hate Ltd (CCDH) is a private company limited by guarantee that calls itself “an international not-for-profit NGO”. As a small company, their financial reporting requirement is only to present an annual balance sheet. All that does is say how much their assets and liabilities are. There is absolutely no requirement for them to say what their sources of income are, or what their total income is, or how much the directors and employees are paid. Other not-for-profit NGOs register as charities. CCDH is not registered as a charity, probably because to do so carries more financial reporting obligations. Their website gives no indication of how much money they are getting, or where they are getting it from. They just say it is funded by philanthropic trusts and members of the public. That just isn’t good enough, given the nature of some “philanthropic trusts” and some members of the public. Just who is pulling the strings and what do they have to hide?
I just have to compare with another organization that checks for misinformation; that is Full Fact (https://fullfact.org/). They are exemplary: they are a registered charity and they list all donations over £5,000 on their website. They make a point of impartiality and demonstrate it. What a contrast with the secretive CCDH. Why would you believe anything that CCDH says? You don’t even know who is really saying it.
Equally opaque is the income of Imran Ahmed. He is CEO, but is he an employee of CCDH? What about his income from other sources? Who is paying him to be a rabid pro-vaxxer? Governments? Pharmaceutical companies? Why doesn’t he say? What is he hiding?
Anti-Vax Watch is even more secretive. We do not even know who they are, let alone how they are funded. Their website has no information. All they say on their website is “Anti-Vax Watch is an alliance of concerned individuals who are seeking to educate the American public about the dangers of the anti-vax industry“. No names; not a word about who is paying them.
At least with CCDH we know who the directors are, but do the directors understand what hate and disinformation is issued in their name? To the uncritical eye, CCDH polemics look to be reasonable and true. It is only if you examine them closely that you see the lies and misinformation. And are the directors happy to present such a bigoted and one-sided view to the public, or is Imran Ahmed pulling the wool over their eyes too? Or are they happy because the donors are paying them off?