Well, it's that time of year again: The end.

We have to say, 2023 has been rough for the country and the world, generally. Between accelerating climate change, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and grisly news abroad in places like Gaza, we're ready to see what 2024 has to offer.

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That said, it was still a big year for OptOut. Yes, we struggled with fundraising. No, we haven't topped corporate media. But we did some really important work.

We started our–or rather absorbed–own reporting outfit and broke some pretty important stories.

We exposed how the network of indicted Chinese billionaire and right-wing darling Guo Wengui used right-wing media and prominent conservatives to launder his image.

Chinese Dissident Secretly Recruited Right-Wing Writers to Publish Flattering Articles
The fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui found prominent conservatives to launder his image.
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We were the first to show how far-right parents' rights groups Moms for Liberty and Parents Defending Education were largely backed by big right-wing money.

“Grassroots” Parents’ Rights Group Gets Big Mystery Money
Moms for Liberty has quickly gained national prominence, thanks to a handful of shadowy donors
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Major ”Grassroots” Parents’ Rights Group Rakes in Big Right-Wing Money
Parents Defending Education scored hundreds of thousands of dollars from major conservative foundations and funds.
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We exposed the hell out of the Brownstone Institute, a major COVID minformation hub/dark money outfit. We obtained internal emails showing how contributors to the group and its founder held pro-child labor positions.

Leaked Brownstone Institute Emails Reveal Support for Child Labor, Underage Smoking
“Maybe I have a tin ear but I can’t really see the issue here.”
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We also pulled as much of its fundraising as we could identify, revealing how big donations make up almost all of Brownstone's budget.

Fueled By Mystery Donors, COVID Conspiracy Group Grew Budget Last Year
The Brownstone Institute raked in sizable, untraceable donations.
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Our reporting on Brownstone even appeared to cause...meaningful restructuring...at their organization with the departure of Dr. Paul Alexander, who had come on as a 2023 Brownstone fellow and made public calls for trials and executions of public health officials.

Changes At COVID Conspiracy Nonprofit Follow Important Context Report
The Brownstone Institute appears to have parted ways with one of its fellows after a report by Important Context highlighted public calls for violence
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We also partnered with major outlets like The New Republic and Rolling Stone to break big stories about how charities are being used to fund hate and conspiracy theories.

Blood Money: How America’s Biggest Charities Are Bankrolling Hate Groups Without Anyone Noticing
Charities tied to America’s largest investment firms, including Fidelity, Vanguard, and Schwab, are giving millions to hate groups each year.
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America’s Biggest Charities Bankrolled RFK Jr.’s Anti-Vax Outfit
Children’s Health Defense and other groups promoting vaccine misinformation discreetly raked in money from anonymous donors through some of the largest charities in the country
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More recently, we teamed up with Sludge on a piece about AIPAC funding and the Democrats who voted to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib over her comments about Israel/Palestine.

AIPAC Dems Join GOP to Censure Tlaib Over Israel Comments
Only four of the 22 Democrats to support censuring Tlaib had not taken AIPAC money last cycle.
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Another major development: OptOut's coding team redesigned the backend of our free news app, making it easier to update and deliver our various newsletters to you. We want to acknowledge and give publci credit to the people who made it all possible for us to keep you up-to-date on the most important stories of the day. To them, we say thank you!

DOWNLOAD the free OptOut News aggregation app for Android or iOS for more curated content like this every day!

We've got big plans for the new year. We're redesigning the app and we're aiming to expand Important Context to deliver even more original reporting–perhaps from more journalists!

Please consider helping us achieve that vision. Have a great new year!

The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.

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