(Nov. 12, 2020) — The Women’s Disinformation Defense Project, a coalition of gender and racial justice groups spearheaded by UltraViolet, that led a $1.2 million campaign to combat online disinformation about Kamala Harris in key battleground states, will not only remain active during the Biden Administration but will double down on their efforts.
What we saw during the campaign is just the warm up act. We know the attacks will only get worse and more prevalent as Harris becomes the first-ever woman and woman of color to occupy the Vice Presidency.
Specifically, the Women’s Disinformation Defense Project, which includes organizations like 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 will:
- Continue to hold platforms accountable for the spread of misinformation and work to create a space where women can engage without the fear of racist or sexist attacks. This work includes focusing on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and her complicity turning Facebook into a cauldron of misogyny and hate (click here to read more about UltraViolet’s new ad featuring women directly calling out Sandberg and asking her to “lean in” to protect them online).
- Continue to hold the media accountable for how they cover and discuss Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and other women of color serving in positions of authority. Recognizing that Trump’s primary focus of attack is against these women, and that stopping outlets from amplifying racist and sexist attacks will be critical to keep women engaged in the process.
More info on WDDP:
In 2020, UltraViolet Action organized the first ever Women’s Disinformation Defense Project, a war room of progressive organizations focused explicitly on preventing the spread of racist and sexist disinformation targeting women candidates and voters. Designed to defend Vice President Kamala Harris and other women and women of color running for office, UltraViolet’s $1.2m election work included:
- Media accountability campaigns focused on de-platforming those that perpetuated racist and sexist disinformation, including the publication of a comprehensive media guide on how the media can cover women politicians and people of color in politics. This also included calls on the DNC to block all Democratic presidential candidates with active non-disclosure agreements for sexual harassment and workplace abuse on debate.
- Platform accountability – focused on holding platforms like Facebook and Twitter accountable for the spread of racist and sexist disinformation, as well as the promotion of right-wing violence and QAnon conspiracy theories.
- Direct voter engagement, popularizing the fact that voters should expect right-wing disinfo-rmation attacks focused on racism and sexism, and countered it with positive messages to low propensity voters in battleground states, creating a permission structure encouraging turnout. This included running a six figure ad buy in English and Spanish targeting young, Black, and Latina voters with turnout and pro-Biden content.
In total, UltraViolet’s efforts reached 36 million voters with electoral outreach programs across organic and paid media.