When the young and female leadership of the Cabinet of Ministers of Finland came into power in December 2019, they made international headlines as pioneers of gender equality in governance. At the same time, their election provoked online resistance in the form of abusive messages. Many assumptions about their political inexperience were accompanied by sexist and misogynistic language.

NATO StratCom COE experts decided to conduct a study which part of this online activity was human-led and which – automated. Experts concluded that the messaging directed at Finnish government officials was largely free from automated activity. They found a number of users singularly focused on harassing the government. The bulk of abusive messaging originated from clusters of right-wing accounts.


  • Rolf Fredheim, Principal Researcher, NATO StratCom COE
  • Päivi Tampere, Head Of Communications, Prime Ministers Office, Government of Finland

Moderated by LtCol Annie Geisow, Operational Support Branch Chief, NATO StratCom COE.

Watch it here.