APrIGF 2024 Session Proposal Submission Form
Part 1 - Lead Organizer
Contact Person
Ms. Pavitra Ramanujam
Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate) *
Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
Asia Digital Rights Lead
Economy of Residence
Primary Stakeholder Group
Civil Society
Part 2 - Session Proposal
Session Title
Gendered Disinformation - Deepening understanding and exploring countermeasures
Session Format
Panel Discussion (60 minutes)
Where do you plan to organize your session?
Onsite at the venue (with online moderator for questions and comments from remote participants)
Specific Issues for Discussion
Women, trans and gender-diverse people are becoming major targets of disinformation campaigns in Asia. The main objective of these campaigns is to delegitimise the voices and credibility of their targets and ensure that they are excluded from public debates and cultural spaces. In particular, those who are more visible are more targeted, including women in politics, journalists and women’s rights defenders and activists.

Countering identity-based disinformation such as gendered disinformation is particularly challenging, since it is sometimes difficult to define and isolate for fact-checking, as it not only relates to lies or false facts, but also to opinions and emotional content aimed at inflaming people and exploiting biases, prejudices and stereotypes. As a result, gendered disinformation campaigns are also often closely associated with hate speech and online gender-based violence, resulting in increased attacks on their targets. Further, emerging technologies such as deepfakes and other AI tools are being used to manipulate content and spread disinformation against women and other gender-diverse persons.

Such disinformation has a serious impact on public discourse and democratic participation. Prominent women in politics, media and civil society are at risk of being targeted and silenced through disinformation campaigns, as are others who may engage in discussions around important gender-based issues such as sexual violence, rights of LGBTQI+ individuals, and rights of women in religious contexts.

This session aims to deepen understanding and create awareness about identity-based disinformation, such as gendered disinformation, the forms it takes, and the impacts it has on its intended targets. It will delve into how emerging technologies are being used in disinformation campaigns and the challenges related to their unrestricted use. Finally, it will look at measures that need to be undertaken at the policy and community levels to address this issue.
Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF
The scope of this session fits well into the overarching theme of “Evolving Ecosystems, Enduring Principles: Shaping Responsible Internet Governance” as large scale misinformation and disinformation efforts are increasingly becoming part of the new online ecosystem in which we operate, especially with the use of deepfakes and other AI tools being deployed in the production of disinformation content without any regulation or oversight.

The session more specifically aligns with the "Security & Trust" track. Disinformation undermines information integrity online, making it difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction and leading to dangerous consequences including inciting violence, spreading panic and eroding trust in institutions. Further, identity-based disinformation, such as gendered disinformation, has the potential to further stereotypes, deepen social tensions, and fuel discrimination and social exclusion of already vulnerable communities, leading to violence against them. It creates doubts in the trustworthiness of the information ecosystem and the internet as a whole.

Finally, the session is also relevant in the context of the "Ethical governance of emerging technologies" track, as emerging technologies including AI are being developed and deployed with the intention to create disinformation for social, ideological and economic reasons. It is crucial that such technology is designed and regulated keeping in mind the adverse effects and harms it could create.
Methodology / Agenda (Please add rows by clicking "+" on the right)
Time frame (e.g. 5 minutes, 20 minutes, should add up to 60 minutes) Description
5 minutes Welcome and introductions by facilitator
10 minutes Facilitator will begin by throwing open a question to the audience: When you hear of “gendered disinformation”, what is an example that comes to mind? Audience given post-its to write their answers and stick it on a board. Facilitator reflects on the inputs and if there is time, invites one or two audience members to expand.
30 minutes Interventions from the panel in conversation style that covers the following issues: What is gendered disinformation, and other identity-based disinformation? How does it differ from other types of disinformation? How is gendered disinformation linked to, but also different from, hate speech and other forms of gender based violence? What are some prominent examples of gendered disinformation in recent years? How were the campaigns formulated? What impacts did it have? What are the dangers of emerging technologies such as deepfake and AI when it comes to gendered disinformation? What immediate measures need to be undertaken both at the policy and community levels to address this issue? What are the risks of overly restrictive or criminal regulations, which are the trend in the region?
10 minutes Audience Q & A
5 minutes Closing remarks from panel
Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)
  • Moderator (Primary)

    • Name: Pavitra Ramanujam
    • Organization: Association for Progressive Communications
    • Designation: Asia Digital Rights Lead
    • Gender: Femlae
    • Economy / Country of Residence: India
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Moderator (Facilitator)

    • Name: Sadaf Khan
    • Organization: Association for Progressive Communications
    • Designation: Manager, Safety for Voices Initiative
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Pakistan
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 1

    • Name: Lisa Garcia
    • Organization: Foundations for Media Alternatives
    • Designation: Executive Director
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Philippines
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 2

    • Name: Bishakha Datta
    • Organization: Point of View
    • Designation: Programme Lead
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: India
    • Stakeholder Group: Civil Society
    • Expected Presence: In-person
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 3

    • Name: Asma Shirazi
    • Organization: Hum News
    • Designation: News Anchor
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Pakistan
    • Stakeholder Group: Press / Media
    • Expected Presence: Online
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 4

    • Name: Mia Møhring Larsen
    • Organization: Office of Denmark's Tech Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark
    • Designation: Tech Advisor for Human Rights & Global Engagement
    • Gender: Female
    • Economy / Country of Residence: Denmark
    • Stakeholder Group: Government
    • Expected Presence: Online
    • Status of Confirmation: Confirmed
    • Link of Bio (URL only):
  • Speaker 5

    • Name: N/A
    • Organization: N/A
    • Designation: N/A
    • Gender: N/A
    • Economy / Country of Residence: N/A
    • Stakeholder Group: Select One
    • Expected Presence: Select One
    • Status of Confirmation: Select One
    • Link of Bio (URL only): N/A
Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.
This session will be facilitated by Association for Progressive Communications (APC). APC is an international civil society organization and a network of members dedicated to empowering people working for peace, human rights, development and protection of the environment, through the strategic use of digital technologies. APC supports women, gender diverse people and vulnerable groups to safely connect and use digital technologies in ways that respond to their lived realities. We approach disinformation as a human rights issue since it has implications on people’s lives, rights and well being.

APC conducts research on these issues and monitors and engages in disinformation policy and regulation at global, regional and national levels. Since 2022, APC has organised a series of consultations in collaboration with the office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion on gendered disinformation, and contributed to her report on gendered disinformation presented last year. APC has also published its own report on the issue.

Pavitra Ramanujam is the APC Asia Digital Rights Lead. Pavitra coordinates APC’s digital rights work in the region, which includes a rights-based and gendered analysis and advocacy of ICT laws and policies in Asia.

Lisa Garcia is the Executive Director for the Foundation for Media Alternatives, Philippines (FMA), which is a civil society organisation promoting strategic and appropriate use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for democratization and popular empowerment. FMA has been focusing on online gender based violence for many years, and has recently begun researching on gendered disinformation and its impacts.

Bishakha Datta is the Programme Lead at Point of View, India (POV) that focuses on empowering women, girls, and gender and sexual minorities to shape and inhabit digital spaces. Point of View is currently implementing a project in the country to better understand gendered disinformation, its impact on various stakeholders and on creating awareness through community engagement.

Asma Shirazi is a senior Pakistani journalist who anchors the primetime current-affairs show on Hum News in Pakistan and a member of The Coalition For Women In Journalism. Asma has been targeted by numerous disinformation campaigns and in 2023, she successfully won a case in the Islamabad High Court against Pakistan’s media watchdog complaint body related to a disinformation campaign targeting her.

Mia Møhring Larsen is Tech Advisor for Human Rights & Global Engagement, at the office of Demark's Tech Ambassador, which leads the work at the Freedom Online Coalition Task Force on Information Integrity Online, a coalition co-chaired by Denmark, Netherlands, and Wikimedia Foundation. Its intention is to identify solutions to support trustworthy information online, engage the broader multi stakeholder community, and develop and propose policy recommendations for governmental institutions and lawmakers.
Please declare if you have any potential conflict of interest with the Program Committee 2024.
If yes, please detail the person and his/her level of engagement on your session proposal. (e.g. 1 or more of the PC members are co-hosting/moderating/speaking at the session)
Moderator is part of the program committee
Are you or other session contributors planning to apply for the APrIGF Fellowship Program 2024?
Number of Attendees (Please fill in numbers)
    Gender Balance in Moderators/Speakers (Please fill in numbers)
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