As many of us know too well, we are living in a time when disinformation can kill you. Disinformation can also derail strong campaigns for leadership during an election season. In the case of our current political climate, there is great need for funders to step into the breach and defend news and information so that voters can make informed decisions.
To that end, I was thrilled to hear about a new project called the Women’s Disinformation Defense Project, which will work extra hard to defend our women and people of color candidates from being shredded mercilessly by fake news in the next 5 weeks. Convened by UltraViolet, the project is being dubbed a new “war room” that is creating and disseminating journalism that will counter the disinformation being targeted to voters.
The broad coalition of PAC’s and other socially progressive organizations includes ACRONYM, BlackPAC, Color of Change PAC, EMILY’s LIST WOMEN VOTE!, GQR, Higher Heights Political Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Votes!, and SumOfUs. The group plans to spend $20 million this election cycle defending Kamala Harris and other progressive women and people of color candidates from fake news attacks.
With research and social media messaging, the Women’s Disinformation Defense Project will fight back against Trump and others who launch baseless lies about these leaders.
“We are so proud to be partnering with some of the best strategists on our side to have Senator Harris’ back at every turn,”said Tara McGowan, CEO and founder of PACRONYM said regarding the new coalition. “For just the fourth time in our history, a woman will be on the presidential ticket of a major political party- and for the first time, a woman of color will be. The historic nature of Senator Harris joining the ticket, coupled with her indisputable experience and record of getting shit done is already working to close Biden’s enthusiasm gap among voters. But as we know too well, the presence of a woman on our ticket will also bring out the worst imaginable instincts of Donald Trump and his allies.”
As part of its strategy, the project will work to hold the media and social media platforms that allow fake news responsible for their part in undermining our democracy.
“Senator Kamala Harris has been a champion for reproductive rights and expanded access to health care her entire career–and she’ll be a champion as our next Vice President,” said Jenny Lawson, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Votes. “She is unapologetically committed to fighting for access to safe, legal abortion, birth control, and equity around maternal health for everyone – including women, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, Black and Brown people, indigenous communities, and more. We know that this and her historic inclusion on the ticket makes her a target for racist and sexist attacks and disinformation, and we have already seen efforts to smear her for advocating for reproductive rights. We refuse to let these attacks stand, and Planned Parenthood Votes is proud to join this partnership of leading progressive groups to fight back.”