Gender and Identity in the Crosshairs: A New Disinformation Frontier

In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in false and malicious narratives that deliberately target people based on their gender and other identities and seek to manipulate sensitive topics to divide and polarise communities. Women, the LGBTQIA+, and other marginalised communities bear the brunt of these narratives. A range of tactics are used, but the aims of those spreading lies and mistruths are always the same: to further their personal geopolitical and economic agendas, silence critics and opponents, interfere in and undermine democratic processes, and reverse steps towards equality. Unfortunately, well-worn techniques (e.g. the use of troll farms) are being supplemented by new technologies; for example, deepfake videos and images showing targets in totally fabricated sexualised scenarios.

The Artemis Alliance is a new network of civil society organisations, activists, journalists, investigators and researchers across Poland, Georgia, and Armenia. The Alliance – supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) – will work together to combat lies and mistruths and generate new knowledge about how and why disinformation narratives are being deployed to wear down targets and exacerbate social tensions in the three countries.

The Artemis Alliance members will receive funding and support via an expert consortium, including Zinc Network, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation and International Alert. The consortium will help them to realise new research and interventions in three areas:

  • Pre-empting & Responding: Equipping members with the knowledge and tools needed to anticipate and counter information attacks swiftly and effectively.
  • Exposing Malicious Actors & Tactics: By shedding light on those engaging in disinformation campaigns, the Artemis Alliance aims to dismantle their harmful influence and safeguard vulnerable communities.
  • Encouraging Fact-Based Conversations: Supporting healthy, fact-based dialogues about sensitive topics within communities, promoting understanding and mitigating the harmful effects of false narratives.

The vision of the Artemis Alliance is a society where people can participate in all aspects of public life without fear of being smeared, misrepresented or harassed.