NGO

Online and Offline Organized Discreditation Campaigns against NDI

27 January, 2020

Publication of results of a public opinion research by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on January 16 was followed by sharp criticism from the ruling party representatives.

Mayor of Tbilisi, Kakha Kaladze labelled the results of the opinion polls political manipulation, while the Vice Speaker of the Parliament, Giorgi Volski stated that he did not trust NDI. The Leader of the Alliance of Patriots, Irma Inashvili joined the pathos with even sharper criticism, accused the organization of terrorism and demanded that an investigation against the Head of NDI Georgia, Laura Thornton be launched. A web-portal of the Georgian National Communications Commission – www.mediacritic.ge published an article by Guri Sultanishvili, a journalist of a pro-governmental channel POSTV, where he compared NDI public opinion data, which are sampled from the entire population of Georgia, with the figures of those who voted and thus, put the trustworthiness of the organization under question.

In parallel with the criticism expressed by the government representatives and the pro-Russian Alliance of Patriots towards NDI, an organized and coordinated negative campaign was carried out by various actors both online and in traditional media against the organization and its Head, Laura Thornton.

Following messages have been disseminated under the negative campaign directed at NDI and Laura Thornton:

  • NDI is an unreliable organization that fabricates research;
  • As activities of NDI pose threat to the security of the country, it should be banned;
  • NDI and Laura Thornton are politically biased;
  • NDI And Laura Thornton are corrupt;
  • NDI discredits the Orthodox Church.

Message

Quote

Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NDI is an unreliable organization that falsifies research

“They will publish those figures that suit them”
________________________________________
“Overall, it is a manipulation with specific figures”
________________________________________
NDI Georgian office "fabricates researches" 
________________________________________

“NDI has been trying for years to significantly reduce the trust expressed by the people towards the ruling party or its candidates in their research”
________________________________________

“Why did NDI recall the ‘Gavrilov Night’ in November? I am very interested what would Laura Thornton say if an oppositional party would launch an assault on the US Capitol building?
________________________________________

“American neoliberals, using NDI, also known as ‘National-Democratic Institute’ once again, disseminated the ‘opinion poll results’, trying to influence Georgian politics.”
________________________________________

“With a very high likelihood, NDI simply manipulated the figures.”
________________________________________

“NDI published new figures that are lost in time and space. Traditionally, they raise a lot of questions and causes a mistrust in the population.”
________________________________________
“Ms Laura Thornton and her group that work in a very serious international institution called ‘National-Democratic Institute’, has been practically offending the Georgian public and manipulating its opinion for years and is mostly based on falsification.”

Kakha Kaladze, Georgian Dream
__________________________

Gia Volski, Georgian Dream
__________________________

Irma Inashvili, Alliance of Patriots
__________________________

Guri Sultanishvili, a web-portal of the Georgian National Communications Commission – www.mediacritic.ge
__________________________

Valerian Gorgiladze, TV Imedi




__________________________


News Front, a pro-Kremlin media outlet



__________________________

Saqinform

__________________________


Davit Chikhelidze, Center for Democratic Changes

___________________________

 

Goga Khaindrava, Producer

 

 

 

 

 

NDI and Laura Thornton are politically biased

“Georgian offices of organizations falsify research and opinion polls due to their pro-United National Movement political bias.”
________________________________________

“The public got used to the fact that the so-called American ‘institutes’ – NDI and IRI – disseminate inaccurate, intentionally manipulated ratings and always do this in favor of the UNM and other liberal, anti-Georgian actors.”
________________________________________

“Sociological research that models reality in favor of the UNM”
________________________________________

“Interestingly, the conclusions made by the organization often correspond to the interests of the opposition and has a high trust among the opponents of the government.”
________________________________________

“Ms Laura Thornton and her group … are clearly politically biased, as what she does is supporting a degraded and completely marginalized political group.”


Irma Inashvili, Alliance of Patriots

___________________________


News Front




___________________________

Jaba Khubua, Asaval-Dasavali (January 20-26)

___________________________


Guri Sultanishvili, a web-portal of the Georgian National Communications Commission – www.mediacritic.ge
___________________________


Goga Khaindrava, Producer

NDI activities pose threat to the state security and should therefore be banned

“These so-called researches directly threaten our country’s security and has already become a state security concern… Overall, we demand this organization’s activities to be banned in Georgia.”

Irma Inashvili, Alliance of Patriots

 

 

NDI discredits the Church

“In this case, NDI is merely a tool in the hands of a certain dark power that wishes to discredit the Orthodox Church. It aims to discredit Christianity, in general, but in this case, specifically the Orthodox Church.”
________________________________________

“The fight of NDI and other organizations like it against the Georgian Orthodox Church is underway even today.”




Archpriest Saba Chikaidze

___________________________

Vazha Otarashvili, Alliance of Patriots

 

 

NDI and Laura Thornton are corrupt

“The Head of NDI Tbilisi Office, Ms Laura Thrnton, I believe, is financially incentivized from the leaders of UNM. We are dealing with corruption with its classic definition – she is taking money!”
________________________________________

“Activities of NDI Georgia include the signs of political corruption, at least.”



Irma Inashvili, Alliance of Patriots


___________________________

Jaba Khubua, Asaval-Dasavali (January 20-26)


Organized campaign of Facebook pages against NDI

There has been an organized negative campaign targeting NDI and Laura Thornton since January 16 that mostly included the following messages:

  • NDI and Laura Thornton are politically biased;
  • NDI is an unreliable organization;
  • NDI is organizing a coup d’etat;
  • Laura Thornton is an LGBT activist and supports abortions.

The messages were being disseminated by the following actors:

  • Facebook pages created against the opponents of the government;
  • Facebook pages supporting the Georgian Dream;
  • Facebook media pages of state editorial policy;
  • Anti-liberal Facebook pages;
  • Pro-Russian Facebook pages.

Pages created against the opponents of the government

Facebook pages supporting the Georgian Dream

Pseudo-media

Anti-liberal pages

Pro-Russian pages

ნაცია - ადამიანი ?

ლიდერი 41

webmedia.ge

Liberastuli seni

Politicano • პოლიტიკანო

სირცხვილის კორიდორი

სამოქალაქო საზოგადოება - XXI. civil society

პოლიტ მაცნე

Pressტიტუცია / Presstitution

 

სექტა

   

Beqa Vardosanidze • ბექა ვარდოსანიძე

 

ნაცების დასაცინი ოფიციალური სააგენტო 

   

Antiliberal League - ანტილიბერალური ლიგა

 

ორი გვამი უნდათ

   

ანტი-პარადოქსი

 

პოლიტიკური მოთვალთვალე

       

"
 


NDI and Laura Thornton are politically biased

The message, according to which the National Democratic Institute and the Head of its Tbilisi Office are politically biased, has been disseminated both by the Facebook pages directed against the opponents of the Georgian Dream and by anti-liberal pages. They are using identical visual materials to this end. For example, anti-liberal pages “Beqa Vardosanidze • ბექა ვარდოსანიძე” and “Pressტიტუცია / Presstitution”, as well as the page created against the opponents of the government “სირცხვილის კორიდორი” published a photo where the Chief Editor of Tabula, Tamar Chergoleishvili and Thornton can be seen together.

""

|

A page created against the opponents of the government, “ნაცების დასაცინი ოფიციალური სააგენტო” and an anti-liberal “Antiliberal League - ანტილიბერალური ლიგა” used similar memes to illustrate the affiliation of NDI with UNM where Davit Bakradze and Irma Nadirashvili can be seen.

""

NDI is an unreliable organization

A Facebook page created on January 13, 2020 called “პოლიტიკური მოთვალთვალე” published a diagram in a sponsored post that showed the “divergence” between NDI and the Election Administration of Georgia in a manipulative way. The post was shared by a pro-Georgian Dream Facebook page “სამოქალაქო საზოგადოება - XXI. Civil society” and an anti-liberal page “Beqa Vardosanidze • ბექა ვარდოსანიძე”.

""

"

The results of the NDI opinion polls were labelled as a “fantasy” by an anti-liberal page “Beqa Vardosanidze • ბექა ვარდოსანიძე” and as “a theatre of absurd” by an pro-Georgian Dream page “ლიდერი 41”.

""

A comment by a host of a political talk show on TV Imedi, Valerian Gorgiladze, was shared by two pseudo media outlets – “webmedia.ge” and “პოლიტ მაცნე”.

""

Pages targeting the opponents of the government – “სექტა” and “სირცხვილის კორიდორი” recalled opinion polls carried out by NDI earlier, including the one conducted prior to the 2012 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia and wrote manipulative posts on that matter.

""

An anti-liberal Facebook page “ანტი-პარადოქსი” ran an “alternative” public opinion survey and established that their subscribers do not trust the organization.

"

NDI is organizing a coup d’etat

A pro-Russian Facebook page “პოლიტიკანო” devoted a long post to NDI discussing the connection of the organization with the Central Intelligence Agency and accusing it of attempted coups d’etat in Kyiv, Venezuela, and Hong-Kong.

"

Laura Thornton is an LGBT activist and supports abortions

An anti-liberal Facebook page “Beqa Vardosanidze • ბექა ვარდოსანიძე” copied a status posted by Laura Thornton on Facebook in which the Head of NDI Georgia criticized Donald Trump, among other things, for tightening abortion laws. “Beqa Vardosanidze • ბექა ვარდოსანიძე” called Thornton an LGBT activist and supporter of abortions.

"

Detailed information on the negative narratives targeting NDI are available in our article“Arithmetic of the Georgian Dream is Based on Voter Turnout, while NDI Research is Based on the Entire Population”.