Jeffrey Blehar writes at National Review Online about bad news for conservatives engaging in the public square.

Readers may recall that I have been on the “disinformation industry” beat lately, and it is a grim one indeed. (For those unaware, I am referring to the newly arisen, ghoulish industry that vampirically gorges itself on the bodies of its willing, almost grateful victims: “woke” corporate America, academia, the mainstream media, and the federal government itself.)

Most recently, I wrote about the Global Disinformation Index, a British company whose explicit ideological goal is to blacklist and deplatform disfavored speech ranging from bonkers (“Trump won the 2020 election”) to mainstream center-left (“my teenage daughter may not actually be a boy”). The Washington Examiner kicked the coverage off with a well-reported piece about GDI’s sinister mission, influence, and connections … and has continued banging the drum about how Microsoft in particular has begun using its blacklists.

Score one for sanity then, because Microsoft (specifically its advertising company Xandr) seems to have backed down. According to an update from the Examiner,

“Microsoft has launched a review of its relationship with GDI and has suspended usage of the group’s services.

“’We try to take a principled approach to accuracy and fighting foreign propaganda,’ a spokesperson said on Saturday evening. ‘We’re working quickly to fix the issue and Xandr has stopped using GDI’s services while we are doing a larger review.’”

While this is good news indeed — and all credit to the Examiner for excellent investigative-reporting work that made the case clearly and convincingly and got Microsoft to act — the far greater bad news is that it had to come to this at all. That it has is a sign of the marked decline of viewpoint-neutrality as a guiding ethos to regulating the public sphere. That is airy theory; the blunt reality is that the corruption of this ideal is going to hit one side far harder than the other, and if you’re reading this piece you know which side it is.