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GATE Submission to the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion

GATE addressed concerns regarding gender dimensions of disinformation and its implications for freedom of expression and gender justice under a submission to the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion.

  • Published
  • 3 July 2023
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Report on freedom of expression and the gender dimensions of disinformation

Gendered disinformation is the deliberate dissemination of false or misleading information targeting individuals or groups based on their sex, gender, gender identity, and/or expression, reinforcing harmful stereotypes, perpetuating discrimination based on cisnormativity and undermining gender equality.

This submission aimed to examine the concept of gendered disinformation, explore its relationship with gender-based violence, assess the responses of States and digital companies, and provide recommendations for combating gendered disinformation from the perspective of one of the most targeted, marginalized, and oppressed groups by patriarchy and gender disinformation – the trans and gender diverse community.

Assessments of the effectiveness of the measures of social media companies and GATE global survey show that social media platforms are failing to be safe places for LGBTQI people, especially for trans people, and serve as the main sources of gendered disinformation. For example, Facebook and Twitter came up as the top social media channels where antigender movements spread gendered disinformation against trans and gender diverse people.

GATE recommendations for combating gendered disinformation included:

  • Development and implementation of comprehensive legal frameworks that explicitly address gendered disinformation while safeguarding freedom of expression, taking inspiration from successful models like the EU’s Digital Services Act.
  • Encourage States, digital companies, and international organizations to adopt and enforce robust content moderation policies that proactively tackle gendered disinformation.
  • Promote collaboration between stakeholders, including civil society, academia, and digital platforms, to develop strategies for countering gendered disinformation while respecting human rights.