August 2, 2022
GDI has studied examples of brands inadvertently funding anti-LGBTQ+ disinformation during Pride month. While Pride is celebrated at different times of the year around the world, this report focused on June 2022 when the majority of companies also participate or show support for Pride and LGBTQ+ communities.
GDI views disinformation through the lens of adversarial narrative conflict. This means that anywhere someone intentionally peddles a misleading narrative, often implicit and constructed using a mix of cherry picked elements of fact combined with fabrications, that is adversarial in nature against an at-risk group or institution, and most importantly, creates a risk of harm, they are engaging in disinformation.
— Can be implicit or explicit;
— Are intentionally misleading;
— Are adversarial against:
— Most importantly, these adversarial narratives create a risk of harm.
This special report includes examples of ad-funded stories promoting a range of harmful adversarial narratives. Please note these are summaries and examples are taken directly from the anti-LGBTQ+ content observed in this study. These stories, and the dehumanising language used within them, fall under GDI's criteria for adversarial narrative conflict. Some of the themes found in this study included:
Ad tech companies servicing these ads & funding these stories include Amazon, Google, The Trade Desk, and AdRoll.
Most of the supply quality policies of the ad tech companies observed do not adequately address the breadth of anti-LGBTQ+ disinformation narratives and/or are not enforced.
Additionally, most brands in this study appear to celebrate Pride month and have a public position on LGBTQ+ that is pro diversity, equity and inclusion.