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False narratives: Together against haters, deniers and deceivers.

15/05/2024 12/06/2024

Independent journalists, activists, intellectuals and expert researchers from different European countries will be invited to 3 online debates organised by Repubblika. The debates will give participants the opportunity to: share uptodate insights on trends in false narratives, propaganda, particularly state-mandated communication justifying war and conflict, hate speech, and anti-democratic discourse; jointly develop strategies to identify and combat false narratives; cement an alliance of solidarity between independent journalists and the rest of civil society to avoid their isolation in this context.

15/05, 6PM CET – Debate 1:  How false narratives are weaponized against gender and LGBTQIA+ rights through disinformation, hate speech and state propaganda, and what journalists and activists can do to fight back together.


  1. Rodrigo Cruz: he is a political sociologist and scientific collaborator at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) with more than a decade of research experience on social movements (particularly the LGBTIQ+ and conservative movements), gender and sexuality, digital technologies and international politics.
  2. Victor Ciobotaru: he is a human rights activist, part of the collective case Buhuceanu that sued the Romanian state at the ECHR, represented by Accept Association – the first NGO promoting and defending LGBTQIA+ rights across the country. As a phd candidate on political science, he is researching the impact of religious fundamentalism and the “gender ideology” discourse upon democratic values and human rights agenda within Romanian society.
  3. Louiselle Vassallo: she’s a senior associate academic in media and communications at the University of Malta. She also works as activist with Occupy Justice and as an author for the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom.
  4. SQUEERt collective: a collective based in Padova, Italy, with the objective of delving into and confronting issues surrounding women’s identities and queer existence, tackling discrimination, violence, and patriarchal oppression head-on, with the hope of recognising and dismantling them.

After a brief presentation of the project, the moderators – Valentina Zoccali and Oliviero Aseglio from S-Com – will give the floor to the speakers who will outline the situation of misinformation and propaganda on gender and LGBTQIA+ issues in their respective countries. The speakers will then engage on the topic and we will open the discussion to the public. 

Access the recording here.

29/05 – Debate 2: How false narratives question the science of climate change, damage green activism and influence green policies, and what journalists and activists can do together to counter the falsehoods.


  1. Alex Gavan: he is a leading Romanian mountaineer and an environmentalist. He has climbed numerous 8000 meters without the support of oxygen. Today, he is involved in humanitarian and, above all, environmental projects. In fact, he is the initiator of the ‘Green Belt’ initiative, that aim to defend the forests around the capital city Bucharest.
  2. No big ship committee: it is a social and environmental commitee born in Venice in 2012. The aim is to safeguard the lagoon of Venice from the damages caused by the cruiseship industry, particularly in regard to the big ships. It has been involved in demonstration, public debates, indipendent research as well as various forms of direct action in order to give visibility to the issue. The committee is also engaged in an outreach campaign that looks at the way overturism and other exploitative fenomena are impacting Venice and its Lagoon.
  3. Astrid Vella: she is the coordinator of one of the leading Maltese eNGOs Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar – Together for a Better Environment. She specialises in planning and development issues related to environmental protection, and works to protect Malta’s rich architectural heritage, rural resources and quality of life through lobbying, raising awareness, public relations, research and regeneration projects.

12/06 – Debate 3: How false narratives keep corruption and organised crime in the shadows, and how journalists and activists can team up to bring these criminal activities into the light of public awareness and the rule of law.


  1. Manuel Delia is one of the founders and the executive officer of anti-corruption NGO Repubblika. He is also a journalist in his own right, blogging on and writing for The Sunday Times of Malta. He has written two books including The Third Siege of Malta which documents corruption in Malta and the experience of civil society resistance to the infiltration of organized crime in politics.
  2. Dragoș Tîrnoveanu is the founder of 45north, a Romanian NGO and online media platform focused on international relations and foreign policy. Dragoş has over 10 years of experience working in this field. Currently, he is managing a team of three recent graduates in creating content and doing meaningful research. His research work with 45north includes disinformation associated with malign actors and Russian related sanctions implementation in Romania.
  3. Nicoletta Alessio is a social worker and contributor to Melting Pot Europe, an editorial and social communication project that analyzes the migration phenomenon in Italy and Europe. She focuses particularly on the immigrant detention and expulsion system of Italy, with experience of field research on the topic in Tunisia and Algeria.
  4. Luca Rondi is an investigative journalist for the Italian magazine Altreconomia. He deals mainly with issues related to migration and human rights.
  5. Sarah Vantorre is vice president of BASTA! – Belgian Antimafia, Steps Towards Awareness, where she is responsible for the activities and the building of the network in Antwerp and Flanders. Her focus is mainly on education and the social reuse of confiscated criminal property. In 2016, she defended her PhD thesis on how the journalistic and literary work of investigative journalist Giuseppe Fava helped fuel contemporary Sicilian anti-mafia culture.

To take part in the debates, you need to send an email to