How to Respond to Disinformation and Digital Voter Suppression: Training with Shireen Mitchell

Indivisible Plus Washington
4 min readOct 13, 2020


What should we do when we see disinformation? How to combat digital voter suppression techniques like false voting information or propaganda discouraging people from voting?

Thanks to Shireen Mitchell of Stop Online Violence Against Women for the fast-paced training session on responding to disinfo and digital voter suppression. Here’s the video.

The slides are available at https://digitalsista-disinfo-slides. And the video’s also available on Facebook.

Here’s some of the highlights.

Don’t amplify disinfo! Think before you engage or share. Avoid sharing headlines that include the disinfo. Be careful!
Share articles with good headlines. Example: Trump floats false, racist birther theory about Kamala Harris
What if an article has useful info but a ‘bad’ headline? Quote from it — or take a screenshot. Describe it, don’t link.
Establish the counter-narrative. Amplify positive messages. Only repeat the facts. Choose appropriate vetted sources.
Voter Suppression: Any legal or extralegal measure or strategy whose purpose or practical effect is to reduce voting
Digital Voter Suppression: The use of online services/platforms to disinformation for the purpose of suppressing the vote
Report digital voter suppression when you see it —
Get accurate voting info out as often as possible. Rules are different in different states. Know the info for your state!
Prepare for last-minute confusion. Learn which sites to trust — Election Protection 866-OUR-VOTE, Voy A Votar 866–2YO-VOTO
Indivisible’s Truth Brigade: a response network. #TruthBrigade on Twitter. Sign up at

Reporting disinformation and digital voter suppression

You should report voter suppression to your Secretary of State and county election officials.

In addition, there are several options for reporting disinformation and digital voter suppression.


Here’s some additional resources on disinformation and digital voter suppression.

About Shireen Mitchell

A charcoal drawing of Shireen Mitchell with double hoop earrings.

Shireen Mitchell, aka digitalsista, is the founder of Stop Online Violence Against Women Inc., a member of the Real Facebook Oversight Board, and has been fighting disinformation for over a decade.

Her groundbreaking 2018 work analyzing Facebook ads highlighted the racially-targeted aspects of digital voter suppression in the 2016 campaign; her January 2020 Report On Ongoing Threat To 2020 Election: Digital Voter Suppression identifies threats and responses for this year’s election. Shireen has discussed disinformation and digital voter suppression in a wide variety of venues including MSNBC, The Root, Netroots Nation, Columbia Journalism Review, Vox, NowThis News, MIT Technology Review, and the Washington Post. She is also the founder of Digital Sisters/Sistas, the first organization dedicated to bringing women and girls of color online.

Image credits:

  • Headlines and digital voter suppression definition from Stop Digital Voter Suppression™ Toolkit, Stop Online Violence Against Women Inc, 2013–2020
  • “Make a plan to vote” infographic: Seattle Indivisible
  • “Vote your full ballot” graphic: Indivisible Whidbey
  • Indivisible Truth Brigade summary: Indivisible WA-9

Thanks to Indivisible Whidbey, Washington Indivisible Network, and Indivisble’s Training team for their support!



Indivisible Plus Washington

Indivisible Plus Washington is a state-wide organization focused on voter engagement and turn out, fighting disinformation, and combatting systemic oppression