Reflecting On New And Old Conversations At The Intersection of Technology and Digital Rights Advocacy

Shaping a Safer and Inclusive Digital Future


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This article was authored by Theodora Skeadas

I am thrilled to be attending Misinformation Village at RightsCon, the world's leading summit on human rights in the digital age, in Costa Rica this June.

While there, I will be speaking at two separate workshops, around the issues of online violence against women and civic integrity.

The Misinformation Village is a collaborative of dis- and misinformation researchers, data analysts, cybersecurity and defense professionals across sectors who seek to establish open and broad-sector frameworks to define, expose, analyze and counter the security challenges of misinformation and disinformation campaigns on democratic regimes, free markets and open, democratic societies.

First, I am looking forward to speaking with National Democratic Institute’s civil society partners Paulina Ibarra and Ixchel G. Aguirre on the issue of collaborative solutions to end online violence against women in politics and public life. We plan to build on existing research that National Democratic Institute has undertaken around civil society organizations’ recommendations for technology platforms around online violence against women and the business case for technology platforms to provide safe spaces for women to politically engage online.

Our panel will focus on the following topics:

  • Highlighting compelling business cases for technology platforms to provide safe spaces for women to politically engage online.
  • Reviewing most recurring strategies from civil society organizations for combating online violence against women for technology platforms.
  • Discussing current collaboration challenges.

Second, I am excited to be speaking alongside ex-Tweep colleagues Elizabeth Mori Tornheim, Nichole S., Rebecca Thein, Sarah Amos, and Talha Baig on the issue of civic integrity. We plan to discuss the current landscape in Trust & Safety operations around civic integrity and approaches to building competencies and partnerships for integrity professionals.

Our panel with focus on the following topics:

  • Exploring challenges for stakeholders to connect with voters and amplify credible information.
  • Examining how changing civic teams will affect everyday users vis-a-vis reduced trust of online platforms, disinformation, and discrete harms to vulnerable users.
  • Discussing the tools accessible to Trust & Safety professionals in this space, and the kinds of impact tech companies can have on civic spaces.
  • Brainstorming ways we can support the integrity worker in our networks, including strategies to avoid burn-out and distraction.
  • Identifying knowledge gaps to scale up operations when the next crisis impacts users in their online social ecosystem.

As we look ahead, we know that change is inevitable. Platforms engaged in meaningful civic integrity work will continue to evolve, and so will malicious actors. We need to make platforms safe for all users, including women, and we need to invest in robust civic integrity work to proactively prepare for upcoming elections and crises.

It is an honor to participate in this programming around empowering the digital age through meaningful participation, online content safety standards, and building trust online, and more broadly, this special event for human rights defenders worldwide!

I am especially thankful for the opportunity to speak alongside civil society partners and previous colleagues. This period has been one of significant turbulence for those of us who were laid off from our jobs, especially given the competitive job market these days, and spaces like this foster real community, meaning, and purpose in an otherwise complicated personal and professional time.

All are welcome to join us in these interactive and informal conversations! To attend either, or both, of these two panels, please register online for this event. If you have more questions about this event, please reach out to We hope to see you soon!

If you want to learn more about these themes, here are some resources you can explore: