Statement on Pressure Against Freedom of Speech, Chauvinism, and Threats Towards the Texty.org.ua Team

We, the team at the Ukrainian data journalism agency Texty.org.ua and an independent public organization, are reporting unprecedented pressure, manipulation, slander, demands to strip us of donor funding, and threats of physical violence that we have faced following the publication of our research “Roller Coaster: From Trumpists to Communists, Who and How They Advocate for Ending Support to Ukraine.”

Читати українською.

In this study, published on June 6, 2024, which we conducted independently and solely with the support of our readers, we presented an analysis of the political, media, and expert environment in the United States that influences decisions on further support for Ukraine in the Russian-Ukrainian war.

As part of the evidence base, the research includes a table listing organizations and individuals in the U.S. who oppose supporting Ukraine. We analyzed their arguments, compared them with common Russian disinformation narratives, and debunked these narratives with evidence and source references.

We also investigated how the individuals and organizations mentioned in our research interact in the public sphere and how some interact with Russian media and state institutions.

All published data regarding individuals and organizations are taken from the open, including official sources.

We do not label the subjects of this research as enemies of Ukraine, nor do we dispute or condemn their right to freedom of expression. We merely state the fact that they oppose support for Ukraine and that many of their arguments resonate with Russian propaganda narratives about Ukraine.

We value and respect freedom of speech, a prerequisite for a democratic society. We reserve the right to present evidence, state facts, debunk false arguments, and compare them with those propagated by Russian propaganda worldwide.

After the publication of this study, the director of the Ron Paul Institute, Daniel McAdams, initially posted on social media platform X, then wrote an article on the Institute's website claiming that Texty.org.ua, funded by the U.S. government, created a hate list of American citizens. In this article, as evidence of our funding by the U.S. government, it is mentioned that one of our co-founders participated in the U.S. government project TechCAMP. Anatoliy Bondarenko volunteered as a data journalism trainer for this project in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

On the same day, the manipulative information shared on the Ron Paul Institute's website was disseminated on social media platform X by other conservative outlets, ultra-right and left-wing American activists, attacking both the Texty editorial team and the authors of the article personally, even issuing threats.

Just one of the emails we got today.
Just one of the emails we got today.

On June 11, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene called our publication a list of enemies and claimed that President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine was behind it.

On June 12, FOX News reported that Senator J.D. Vance and Congressman Matt Gaetz called on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to send them information about the Ukrainian non-governmental organization Texty.org.ua by June 28. The letter's authors also urged the House Appropriations Committee to halt U.S. support for Texty.org.ua. On Tuesday, the committee approved such a resolution.

On June 13, Elon Musk, the owner of social media platform X, who was also mentioned in our research,responded to the call from a Republican congressman to strip us of any donor support by calling for our organization to be listed as a terrorist group.

Screenshot from Platform X
Screenshot from Platform X

We view this campaign as an attack on freedom of speech and a display of chauvinism against the citizens of Ukraine. Our critics believe that we do not have the right to investigate the streams of false information they produce about our country and us, simply because they are U.S. citizens and we are not.

You can support our work here.

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Знак гривні
Знак гривні