‘Community bridging’: The Disinformation Project’s latest effort to nazify normality

Women’s rights activist Posie Parker’s visit to New Zealand in March caused headlines around the world when mob violence was used by trans-activists to stop women speaking up about threats to their sex based rights. Now, The Disinformation Project is back to invert reality and create alarm by claiming that neo-nazis have infiltrated these groups, creating ‘genocidal’ hate.

The Disinformation Project (TDP) is back with another barely disguised attempt at smearing people with reasonable arguments as Nazis.

Transgressive Transitions: transphobia, community building and community bridging within Aotearoa New Zealand’s disinformation ecologies March-April 2023 is the latest non-peer reviewed paper from the government funded researchers, a ham-fisted attempt to argue that dangerous ideas can jump from one group to another, seemingly by osmosis, and thereby radicalise them.

How many people know, for example, that Posie Parker came to New Zealand at the invitation of indigenous women’s organisation Mana Wāhine Kōrero, among others? TDP certainly doesn’t mention it. Nor will they explain that Let Women Speak events and the organisation Stand up for Women exists because of the deep misogyny underpinning trans activism (I do not mean to say trans people, who like everyone else come in all shades), which some old school feminists say is more overt now than ever in their living memory.

They even quote and support the assertion – at the extreme end of logic and reason – that women who demand their sex based rights be respected and that children be left alone to develop naturally without being told they are in the ‘wrong body’, is genocidal:

“The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention has described the international ‘gender critical movement’ as genocidal: “ the gender critical movement simultaneously denies that transgender identity is real and seeks to eradicate it completely from society.”

In fact TDP say that claims children are being groomed is a “manufactured myth” designed to produce moral disgust and outrage. Personally, I don’t think most people need any help determining what is and isn’t appropriate material for children to be exposed to – they naturally feel disgust and outrage when children are exploited, which is why so many parents are questioning why this material is already being taught in our schools, and as early as in year 1.

The Disinformation Project’s role in the state directed censorship apparatus

However, whenever TDP puts out one of their research papers, we must examine it in the context of the Government’s Orwellian disinformation monitoring, censorship and influence apparatus, which I wrote about in Ministry of Truth NZ, back in February.

To recap, we know due to an Official Information Act request that TDP has, at least at certain times, been funded by Government – yet they have never bothered to advise the public, or the journalists that report on their papers what their funding sources are.

The Government’s disinformation monitoring activities began in the covid-era. The TDP was formed in February 2020 – before the hysteria of March and the first lockdown in April. As sociologist Jodie Bruning has observed, it appears as though TDP was established precisely to foreshadow an expected wave of counter-narrative content.

While the OIA documents in question did not name The Disinformation Project, they specifically describe disinformation research being undertaken within Te Pūnaha Matatini as being funded by the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation. It’s difficult to arrive at any other conclusion than that it must be TDP.

The documents, from December 2020/January 2021 were released almost in their entirety on 9 December last year. They were revised copies of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s briefing, Strengthening New Zealand’s Resilience to Mis/Disinformation, and the initial working draft of the Strategic Framework for Strengthening New Zealand’s Resilience to Mis/Disinformation. You can read them here.

TDP are part of what the Government, and in fact Five Eyes nations, call a ‘Whole of Society’ approach to monitoring and tackling so-called mis-and-disinformation.

When I wrote my analysis, I had never heard the term before, but the implication was clear – the ‘whole of society’ – government agencies, NGOs, academia, the private sector, the media, social media, big tech and citizens (think of the SIS’s ‘report your neighbours’ booklet) – would be recruited in the ‘fight against mis-and-disinformation’. I described this as an octopus, its tentacles reaching out to enfold every part of the social and political fabric, eliminating true political discourse.

Since then, two very important pieces of journalism have been published on the subject: A guide to understanding the hoax of the century, by Jacob Siegel at Tablet, and An Insider’s Guide to “Anti-Disinformation” by Andrew Lowenthall at Racket News. Both are long, but very important reads by two highly experienced and astute commentators.

Siegel specifically highlights the ‘whole of society’ approach which orginates with the US security state. This means, New Zealand has imported it from its Five Eyes task master.

As well, we’ve had the Twitter Files from Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, which revealed the extent to which the Biden administration and the security state were directing censorship at the social media behemoth.

This week, Shellengberger published another shocking story on Substack about the new RESTRICT Act. World On Cusp Of Woke Totalitarianism As Governments Act To End Freedom Of Speech details an attempt for this ‘whole of society’ approach to be explicitly enshrined in law in a coordinated manner across key nations – and yes, New Zealand is in that club.

“Politicians, NGOs, and their enablers in the news media claim that their goal is merely to protect the public from ‘disinformation’. But vague definitions and loopholes in new laws will create avenues for broad application, overreach, and abuse,” he writes.

Later, he states: “As shown with the Twitter Files, the Censorship Industrial Complex is as much about discrediting accurate facts, true narratives, and content creators who threaten its power while boosting the ones that do.”

In this context, it’s hard to see The Disinformation Project as anything other than shills for establishment narratives. Their job is to find ways to smear people who tell a different story from the accepted woke morality of today: that vaccines are always good and can never cause harm, that a desire for freedom is dangerous far right extremism, that men can be women.

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Posie Parker and the trans debate

The now infamous Let Women Speak event at Albert Park, Auckland, on 25 March 2023. The event resulted in a shift in the public’s perception of the trans movement from being a human rights campaign to a campaign of intimidation.

The subject of this latest TDP paper is the transgender argument, centred around the sabotaged visit of Kellie-Jay Keen (also known as Posie Parker) of Let Women Speak in late March, who came to give women a chance to speak about changes to their sex based rights as a consequence of trans-activism.

The argument this time is ‘community bridging’ – that neo-nazi narratives are able to migrate into the trans debate, or the freedom community. They base their argument on social media activity by neo-nazi groups during and after the event, but fail to adequately distinguish between those groups and the women’s rights activists who have reasonable and legitimate points to raise.

The new paper states:

“As a tactic, we have consistently studied community bridging in combination with other features of disinformation and influence activity, compelling members of a community formed around one set of ideas to take on another set of ideas in order to absorb and incorporate new ideological standpoints into their existing shared identity.

“This working paper describes several incidents of near real-time community bridging, including what we describe as ‘multipolar bridging’, in which existing ideologies and their supporters are bridged into the disinformation community, without barrier or pushback. A key tool which enables community and multipolar bridging is the repeated use of semantic infiltration and semantic distortion, ‘the process whereby we come to adopt the language ofour adversaries in describing political reality’ such as the self-nomenclature of the ‘freedom movement’.”

Yep, more psuedo-academic nonsense. Here is an example of their community bridging as highlighted by Ani O’Brien:

Later, this: “We suggest that community bridging is being tactically deployed to embed more extreme far-right and neo-Nazi content, producers, and ideologies into Aotearoa New Zealand-based disinformation channels and accounts. Thus, through shifts of platforms and norms, covid-19 denialism and anti-mandate communities are now imbricated with far-right and neo-Nazi rhetoric, ideologies, groups, and individuals.”

The possibility that some people might like to have a grown up discussion about some of the absurdities we are being asked to accept around trans ideology is simply beyond the purview of the propagandist – it’s always in spin that they do their work.

Yes! You too can use trans activism to defame and abuse women who want to defend single sex spaces and deny them their sex-based rights! And … still be publicly seen as a ‘lefty’ rather than someone exhibiting all the characteristics of a fascist: smearing, bullying, intimidation and censorship!

Peak 2023. Stay curious.

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