Pro-Government Media Sponsors 128 Posts Targeting the so-called “LGBT Propaganda”

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In recent months, along with pro-Kremlin and anti-Western actors, the incumbent “Georgian Dream” party has also been trying to instrumentalize LGBTQI+ topics. In addition to the legislative initiative presented by the “Georgian Dream” on March 25, pro-government media outlets such as – POSTV, TV Imedi, and Pia.ge have been contributing to sowing fear about the “neoliberal agenda” and circulating anti-LGBT propaganda.

“Myth Detector” examined the 128 posts placed in the social/political ads category in the Facebook ads library from December 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024. An average of 1,800 USD was spent on sponsoring the above-mentioned posts. Notably, It is impossible to determine the exact amount of money paid for each advertised post; however, Meta’s ads library allows us to determine the average cost by dividing the total amount spent by Facebook pages by the number of sponsored posts in the last 90 days.

Part of the sponsored posts reflected the statements of the representatives of the “Georgian Dream” and members of the “People’s Power” party, which concerned the need for banning the so-called “LGBT propaganda” and criticizing liberal ideology. Notably, the Facebook posts sponsored by the media included the statements of the representatives of the ruling party, where they portrayed the opposition and especially the leader of the “Lelo” party, Mamuka Khazaradze, as amplifiers of LGBT propaganda. The programs by pro-government POSTV which were sponsored on Facebook, conveyed messages that “LGBT propaganda” is fostered by the NGO sector, the president, and the opposition in Georgia. In one of the sponsored posts, POSTV claimed that the TV company “Formula” broadcasts “LGBT propaganda of children.” 

In addition, during the last months, POSTV has been intensively broadcasting and sponsoring Giorgi Akhvlediani’s program “Anatomy of Liberalism” on Facebook, trying to convey the idea that the West is trying to create a “value-free, sterile society”, which, according to the author, will be much easier to influence. In general, Akhvlediani portrays the West as a space devoid of ethnic, religious, and cultural identity, which is managed by transnational institutions.

Sponsored Facebook posts amplified the following messages:

  • Official Western bodies of the highest level have become the main source of propaganda;
  • Depravity presented as a culture is being popularized in Georgia;
  • The opposition is silent on the restriction of LGBT propaganda, therefore they support it.
qardi Pro-Government Media Sponsors 128 Posts Targeting the so-called “LGBT Propaganda”

 

Among pro-government media, the majority, 80 posts, was sponsored by the different Facebook pages of POSTV TV (POSTV – Analytics, POSTV – News, Conservatory). Giorgi Akhvlediani’s “Anatomy of Liberalism” has been sponsored the most (37) times, which claims that “the propaganda of depravity, whose tentacles are directed towards Georgia, has spread virally” in the West.

 

Media

Number of Sponsored

Amount spent on each ad

Links to sponsored ads

POSTV – Analytics

58

<$100

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54,
55, 56, 57, 58

POSTV – News

21

<$100

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19,
20 ,21

Conservatory (POSTV)

1

<$100

1

 

TV Imedi

5

<$100

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Pia.ge – News, Newshub.ge

10

<$100

 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

PrimeNews.Ge

5

<$100

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Georgia First NEWS

28

<$100

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,15,16,17,18,19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

March 2024

At the beginning of March 2024, pro-government POSTV – News (1,2) and Newshub.ge (formerly Pia.ge) (1,2,3) sponsored fragments of Mamuka Mdinaradze’s briefing, where he told opposition parties to express their stance on the initiative to ban LGBT propaganda. He called for taking a position on the initiative. Newshub also sponsored (1,2) excerpts of former and current Prime Ministers’ statements on the same topic. Later, the same media outlet sponsored Archpriest Iakob’s statement, in which he notes: “God created humans as man and woman – how far have we come that they can no longer distinguish between sexes and genders.”

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About a week later, Mamuka Mdinaradze once again made a statement about the so-called silence of the opposition on the banning of “LGBT propaganda”. According to Mdinaradze, LGBT propaganda is categorically unacceptable and destructive for future generations, and if a clear line is not drawn, a small nation will die. Various fragments of Mdinaradze’s statement were sponsored by POSTV – News (1,2,3) and Newshub (formerly Pia.ge) (1,2,3,4).

It should be noted that POSTV-Analytics also prepared and sponsored a story on the draft law related to LGBT issues, which mentions that the opposition avoids questions on this topic.

Mamuka Mdinaradze’s statements on the mentioned topic in the period of March 8-26 were again sponsored by POSTV and TV Imedi (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

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POSTV – Analytics also sponsored (1,2) a documentary film and its announcement about the publication of the book “Blue”. The program argued that the promotion of depravity is being introduced as a form of culture in Georgia. As for the documentary, it mentioned that LGBT propaganda has become a political tool and has already penetrated into all spheres. On March 7, two posts sponsored by POSTV-Analytics (1,2) stated that an LGBT/queer book presentation was held at the Art-Area Gallery associated with Mamuka Khazaradze.

POSTV also sponsored several posts about the organization “Tbilisi Pride.” POSTV’s program “Conservatory“, in which the presenters talk about the necessity of a legislative initiative against LGBT propaganda from the ruling party was also sponsored.

It should be noted that POSTV-Analytics sponsored the announcement of the program, which states that LGBT propaganda in Georgia is encouraged by the NGO sector, the president, and the opposition.

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Among POSTV’s Facebook ads, Giorgi Akhvlediani’s program “Anatomy of Liberalism”, which deals with the LGBTQ+ topics, is frequent. The program mostly talks about gender identity and cases of sex change in the West, although it is worth noting that the program is not just a criticism of such facts, as it has an anti-Western context. Davit Akhvlediani tries to show, based on individual facts, that liberalism is completely based on “gender ideology” and that Western liberal policies try to create a uniform, genderless society, for which “a new person needs to be brought out”. Akhvlediani states in his broadcasts that the goal of the ruling oligarchic families of America is to pervert young children.

The programs of “Anatomy of Liberalism”, which were sponsored by POSTV, voiced a number of conspiracy theories, which claim that the rulers of the world LGBT organization aim to erase the ethnic, religious, and cultural identity of the states. In addition, in the programs, we sometimes find distortion of information and the spread of fake news or manipulation of facts. “Myth Detector” has prepared several articles about the claims voiced in the program.

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The Georgia First NEWS online outlet sponsored 8 posts on Facebook in March about the LGBTQI+ community. Some of the posts present opinions about gender and homosexuality (1,2,3), and some criticize the American liberal policy, which, according to the portal, offers Americans “abortion, wars, castration of children, protection of transgenders” (1,2). There are also sponsored posts about the growing identification with the LGBT movement and transgender football players (1,2).

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February 2024

In late February 2024, the Facebook pages of POSTV-Analytics (1,2) and POSTV-News (1) sponsored the statement by “People’s Power” stating that US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, is urging staff to refrain from using words such as “Mother” and “father”, “son” and “daughter”, “wife” and “husband.” In the same period, “POSTV – News” sponsored (1,2) statements of Guram Macharashvili and Dimitri Khundadze, members of “People’s Power”. According to Macharashvili, “society is told that LGBT propaganda is a natural phenomenon and that Georgia should not lag behind this supposedly European and civilized achievement”, and Khundadze claims that LGBT propaganda is a new weapon for conquering states.

Blinken’s statement was also discussed in the program “Political Philosophy”, which was also sponsored on February 26. According to the host, under the auspices of freedom of expression, children are also involved in LGBT propaganda in Western countries.

In the same period, posts containing comments on Blinken’s statement were actively sponsored (1,2,3,4,5) by Georgia First NEWS. In the second half of February, the publication devoted sponsored posts to legislative changes on LGBTQ+ issues in the US and Greece.

Notably, the manipulation of identity-related topics was directed at the opposition as well, for example, on February 26, a POSTV-sponsored post stated that Mamuka Khazaradze’s son’s production company’s film “Crossroads” received The Teddy Award for LGBT films at the Berlin Film Festival.

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In February 2024, we identified four (1,2,3,4) posts sponsored by the news agency PrimeNews.Ge. In one of them, the founder of the public movement “Ai Ia”, Vato Shakarishvili, notes that LGBT propaganda is a policy issue of the United States of America. In the rest of the posts, we find the statements of the “People’s Power” party, where it is emphasized that Western structures are the source of “pseudo-liberal propaganda”.

lgpt propaganda37 Pro-Government Media Sponsors 128 Posts Targeting the so-called “LGBT Propaganda”

In February, POSTV-analytics sponsored another 18 episodes of Akhvlediani’s program “Anatomy of Liberalism”.

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January 2024 and December 2023

In January 2024, the Facebook page “POSTV – news” sponsored a statement by Vato Shakarishvili, in which he says that the “neglection and adaptation” approach has resulted in 30% of Gen Z identifying as LGBTQ.

lgpt propaganda47 Pro-Government Media Sponsors 128 Posts Targeting the so-called “LGBT Propaganda”

In December 2023, Pia.ge, POSTV-analytics, and TV Imedi sponsored (1,2,3) Mamuka Mdinaradze’s statement in which he says: “Yes to human rights with no alternative; No – to LGBT propaganda and provocation. This is a simple formula and a Georgian, a citizen of Georgia will never allow this formula to be violated.” It is worth noting that Facebook removed TV Imedi’s ad because it violated the rules for advertising about social issues, elections, and politics.

lgpt propaganda48 Pro-Government Media Sponsors 128 Posts Targeting the so-called “LGBT Propaganda”

On December 12, 2023, the post sponsored by POSTV – Analytics stated that the “Kezerashvili and UNM’s Formula” is engaged in LGBT propaganda for children, which is accompanied by a fragment of the TV series “My Wife’s Girlfriends”, in which a child tells her mother that she does not like boys. The screenwriter of “My Wife’s Girlfriends” responded to this and noted that the purpose of this fragment was actually to show how a toxic relationship between parents can have a negative impact on the child’s psyche.

On December 27, 2023, POSTV Analytics sponsored two more stories on LGBT issues, discussing the movie industry and the Vatican’s attitude toward same-sex couples.

lgpt propaganda49 Pro-Government Media Sponsors 128 Posts Targeting the so-called “LGBT Propaganda”

POSTV-Analytics sponsored the above-discussed program “Anatomy of Liberalism” on Facebook in January and December as well. 

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As for the posts sponsored by Georgia First NEWS in December and January, they emphasized that the politicians of different countries of the world are homosexuals. Information coverage and advertising on the participation of transgenders in sports was also actively carried out.

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A number of legislative initiatives were registered in the Parliament of Georgia in 2014-2022, which were aimed at limiting the fundamental rights of the LGBTQI+ community. Out of the legislative initiatives registered in the Parliament, 8 were related to changes in the existing law. The package of changes provided for the violation of the rights of these groups based on gender and sexual identity: limiting access to legal mechanisms, limiting employment, limiting freedom of assembly and manifestation, and expression. Most initiatives were aimed at removing the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” from various laws, primarily from anti-discrimination laws.

In 2023, Mamuka Mdinaradze explained that the “Georgian Dream” did not consider the adoption of such a draft law, which was mainly justified by legal arguments, however, in 2024, the ruling party changed its mind and initiated the draft law itself. See more:

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