Global South disinformation advocacies too often tend to replicate certain Euro-American frames of platform and technological determinism where Facebook, Russian operations, or Cambridge Analytica are blamed for influencing unthinking voters, similar to discourses about electoral hijacking in 2016 polls in the United States and the United Kingdom.
We suggest global South scholars and activists to work more strategically to advance “Southern” frames that center their shared experiences of media censorship, nationalist attacks against “Western” human rights principles, and thriving local economies of disinformation-for-hire.
Rather than anticipate Global North-to-Global South policy flows in the disinformation space, we recommend that researchers and civil society actors to build more South-to-South knowledge exchange spaces that bring us in direct conversation, connecting researchers and advocates in Philippines, Brazil, India, Thailand, and Nigeria, among others. For example, best practices in election monitoring could be exchanged between the Philippines and Brazil.
DigiLabour is now launching an op-ed series on disinformation and elections in the Global South, at a time when Brazil faces one of its most important elections in recent decades. This op-ed series is part of the project “Global Democracy Frontliners: Transnational Research Coalition for Tech Accountability and Democratic Innovations Centering Communities in the Margins”, funded by Luminate/Reset. We see this series of interventions connecting and comparing Philippines and Brazil researchers and activists as an important experimental contribution to this initiative. If you are interested in contributing to this series, please contact DigiLabour.