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CDT Original Research on Online Abuse of Women of Color Political Candidates Wins Silver Anthem Award

(WASHINGTON, DC) — Today, a 2022 Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) original research project, “An Unrepresentative Democracy: How Disinformation and Online Abuse Hinder Women of Color Political Candidates in the United States,” was selected by the 3rd Annual Anthem Awards as a Silver Winner in the “Human & Civil Rights — Best Use of Data” Category.

The report, authored by CDT’s Dr. Dhanaraj Thakur and DeVan Hankerson Madrigal, showed that women of color candidates in the 2020 U.S. general elections encountered mis- and disinformation and the worst kinds of online harassment at higher rates than other candidates. The study was one of the first of its kind to quantify the problem of mis- and disinformation and abuse of women of color candidates who ran in 2020, and built on the work of researchers — particularly those from communities of color — who have pointed to this problem for some time. The project also included recommendations for social media platforms, researchers, other political candidates (particularly women of color), and their parties on how to address the problem in future campaigns.

“As we head into a seismic year for elections around the world, we’re thrilled to see CDT’s work highlighted by The Anthem Awards for its importance to civil and human rights,” said CDT President and CEO Alexandra Reeve Givens. “We know that the online environment for misinformation and disinformation is only getting harder to navigate, for political candidates, researchers, and voters alike, and I’m so proud of our team’s important work illustrating the dynamics that shape equitable participation and representation in democracy.”

“The Anthem Awards were born out of the desire to amplify and celebrate the voices that are creating sustainable change and to inspire others to take action,” said Patricia McLoughlin, Anthem Awards General Manager. “In a year where so much is at stake, it is incredibly important to recognize impact work and celebrate the progress happening globally.”

The research report was art directed by CDT Deputy Director of Communications, Design & Digital Timothy Hoagland, and visually designed by creative firm Objectively.

The Anthem Awards, launched in 2021 by The Webby Awards, honor purpose- and mission-driven work from people, companies, and organizations worldwide. This year’s Anthem Award Winners were selected from a pool of over 2,000 submissions from 44 countries by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS).

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The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is the leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organization fighting to advance civil rights and civil liberties in the digital age. We shape technology policy, governance, and design with a focus on equity and democratic values. Established in 1994, CDT has been a trusted advocate for digital rights since the earliest days of the internet. The organization is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has a Europe Office in Brussels, Belgium.