Many who believe in justice are fighting hard for victories at the ballot box. However, our opponents are spreading disinformation that threaten the just future we are all working towards. This disinformation seeks to disrupt trust in accuracy, and rides off of old narratives that have used racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia to target and divide our communities for decades.
Today, this disinformation is spreading at unprecedented rates. If we hope to win narrative battles and shift the cultural terrain, we need to disrupt the disinformation that is affecting our communities the most (think: birtherism, all the varieties of Black/Brown/Asian wedges, blaming racial justice movements for the wildfires and violence caused largely by climate change and white domestic terrorists).
This year, chaos agents, who are interested in sowing discord and division, put some of our movement organizations at the center of conspiracy theories and disinformation attacks, threatening to delegitimize our work, sow distrust among our communities, and suppress our power. Many of us have heard and seen these conspiracy theories and lies littering our newsfeeds, circulating among our members, and maybe even from our Problematic Uncles.
But we can and are fighting back. Defending our communities against disinformation is inseparable from our organizing and integral to winning our fights for justice in this upcoming election and beyond. And often, the best defense is a strong offense that neutralizes disinfo before it spreads. Let’s start with a few tools that we’ve developed with the Disinformation Defense League for organizers across our movements to deploy RIGHT NOW.
Tools for GOTV & Beyond:
- A new North Star (c3) messaging guide for staying above disinfo chaos and advancing our narratives from ReFrame
- This guide outlines core messaging and scenarios that campaigns can use in conversations with voters and media
- How to NOT Amplify Disinformation infographics – IN SPANISH and English
- These graphics describes how to respond to disinformation online (best practices are often counterintuitive). This is an excellent resource for educating members and anyone who uses social media.
- A How to NOT Amplify video to share with staff, members and member leaders, produced by Kairos and ReFrame.
- The START tool for integrating disinfo monitoring and response into your existing campaigns. This tool, co-developed by Dr. Joan Donovan and ReFrame, has been called the first of its kind in the disinformation field.
- For more juicy resources, check out #DisruptDisinfo and tools like these from MediaJustice‘s Week of Action against Disinformation.
For the FULL Disinfo Defense Toolkit, co-curated by ReFrame and PEN America, click here.
We know the work of making sure our communities aren’t manipulated by disinformation is draining. We must do this work together. That’s why ALL OF US need to equip ourselves, take care of each other, & share the load because defending against disinformation isn’t an extra thing. Right now, our best defense is our organizing, relationships, and our work, but we all know disinformation doesn’t end with the election. For a look at our stance on the long game, check out our blog, “Fighting Disinformation, Building Narrative Power.”