Addressing Gendered Disinformation
Gendered disinformation poses a pervasive threat, particularly impacting women and girls from marginalized groups and those in the public eye, intertwining with other social identities targeted by malevolent actors. Employed by authoritarian regimes, gendered disinformation silences women’s voices in digital spaces, fuels divisive public debate, and undermines democratic principles and human rights.
In this report, we summarize and analyze contemporary recommendations to address gendered disinformation across stakeholders, including government, civil society, social media platforms, academia, media, and political parties. While acknowledging the importance of key responses like collecting data, raising awareness, and improving regulation, we highlight several gaps, including an overall insufficient focus on preventative efforts and inadequate recommendations focusing on bystanders and perpetrators. The report concludes by emphasizing the need for global collaboration and the inclusion of strategies from adjacent sectors, such as technology-facilitated gender-based violence and violence against women in politics, to meaningfully address this multifaceted threat.
- The Need for Cross-Sectoral Collaboration: Recognizing that no single intervention or stakeholder alone can effectively combat gendered disinformation, the report advocates for coordinated efforts across government, tech platforms, civil society, academia, media, and political parties.
- The Importance of Prevention and Root Cause Focus: There is an overall insufficient focus on prevention and a lack of recognition of the root causes of gendered disinformation, including social norms and the enabling environment created by technology.
- The Unique Attributes of a Gendered Disinformation Response: A critical but sometimes overlooked aspect of gendered disinformation is its strong connection to offline violence. To address this, proposed actions should be survivor-focused and trauma-informed, differentiate between different types of gendered abuse and harassment, and link to the broader impact of gendered disinformation on communities and governance to engage powerholders in solutions.
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