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Social Media and Conflict: How to mitigate online hate speech that fuels violence?

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there's a and you will be on my part
because choosing not have everybody
the the chain going over and and yet it's a it's a bit hard to see you guys is very bright light up here but I'd really like to welcome everybody for coming to the 1st evening session on stage 2 as Republic 17 and my Stephen
Kovats and from the rogue agency for Open Culture and critical transformation in my organization has been involved in a number of peace building and open technology projects in South Sudan since 2012 and I'm just
here to and introduce some stunning range of of gas and very happy that to have here and and just before doing so I'd like to give a and a big thank you to Republican for giving us the opportunity to bring
this topic in a scene here um at Republic of love out loud about the way social the social media influencers conflict and creates a real serious problems where the best
response to that problem is to love out loud so this panel we also discussing those ways of of doing that but um I'd also love to give a big thank you to the geek The Global Innovation gathering because these folks are part of a global community that has grown out of Republican and now exists also in the life on its own by 180 innovators peace builders open tech people from around the world together here also every year and in different places around the world so thank you also to kick and the panel takes place in the context of the defy hate now initiative so if you will be tweeting about the event today please define please tweet as 1 word defy hate now so altogether 1 hash tag and I'm supporting the defy hate now initiative against social media hate speech in South Sudan is civic I'm a program of the EU found the Institute false lens that sealed with support from the German Foreign Office so without any further ado cytologist should be talking at the beginning should I would uh
I would like to introduce them and that's vapor here and that is from the JDiff to this shaft politic I'm and that is a is a leading
expert come in the the politics of the region of south Sudan and the Horn of Africa for many
years and she's also somebody who has had quite an interesting life also within the media arts and culture scene of Berlin for many many years so and thank you and that after coming to moderated the session tonight at she brings together both of those worlds of media culture and politics which is uh so necessary here and to my immediate left is Dolan Theo was the director of the Peace Tech Labs Africa and the peace Tech Labs has been doing amazing work using open-source
software around the world for peace building amongst many other things and we are partners and collaborators in battling hate
speech and online incitement to violence in South Sudan and the old showing some amazing work out that they been doing
in the country next to the is to examine Jammu Jackson Sorel from South
Sudan and jeeps and is an incredible artist activist use innovator who we've been working with them in Juba the couple Seltzer
down for a couple of years and objects on a set of his own innovation lab in the town of Yei insert sedan which unfortunately had to shut down last summer last fall and objects and is now living In the Rhino Camp refugee settlement in northern Uganda and he'll be showing us some of the incredible work that they're doing in this and that but I don't know really had a colored unstable fluid situation of of a refugee camp on the border and the extreme far and there is actual jock monk
and actual is also have a wonderful media activists she's a podcaster she's a reporter of cultural activist and she is the project manager for the defy hate no initiative has been working in and with South Sudan for many years originally from South Sudan but
then having spent part of our life in Cuba and in Canada so this is my introduction to you guys the seen you will take over and
enter so thank you very much freedom and and thank you for the panel and an extremely excited to to have this some remaining 15 minutes with all of you on that I wanted to talk for too
long because really there is you know important people here that they can lead us through the conflict in South Sudan but also the connection to social media and hate speech I just thinking about and to mind I thought about 20 year 24 21 years ago was the 1st time when I went to South Sudan back then it was part of Sudan was in the country by itself and there was no social media because basically didn't exist back then on that of course there were rumors and of course the bear ideologies and it was clear that there's the right side on the wrong side and that on the 1 side is fighting against the other side and has to win but there was also a lot of frustration amongst amongst the population thinking that maybe it's the next generation of our children who still have to fight the struggle and so on and continue to you fighting against the north and
in order to be free on 2 thousand 11 cells sedan became an independent
country became that free country 2 years later 2 and half years later I would say a power struggle in the leadership of started to unravel the this very young the youngest country again and on after trying to rescue the situation after trying to bring his power leader ship together side and reveled again in 2016 and I think this is where I would like some of the the 2 of you to
join as in not only about getting that conflict closer to the audience here in Berlin but also connecting what happened in a conflict and what happens when we hate
speech and social media has become part of a conflict that is more than just ideology or rumors and what what does that mean what it means to you but also on the other what where we
standing after that I would like to then hopefully go into what can we do that let's 1st start and so maybe with where where where we now I'm
so my name essential job match and I was born in South Sudan I left in 1986
and so on ended up in Cuba by 1989 they lived there for 8 years and then in 1997 we moved to Canada and in 2011 I went back to South Sudan because I wanted to basic I wanted to go to that place that is called because I had never experienced that I wanted to call and meet my cousins and my brothers people who have never met because in that year when we were in Cuba I was just on my father my mother and my brothers and sisters I while in South Sudan I mean the 1st 2011 2012 was wonderful we had just independence we were proud to be South Sudanese then in 2013 and I have never been in a conflict but then in 2013 actually experience the 1st conflict in in ever in my life I have never I had never heard bombardment x accepted movies but inexperienced in real life then after that I went back to Canada for some time this because you it was it was too much and I remember while in Canada I remember that it's a lot of ourselves cities in Canada didn't really understand what was happening in cell so that because they were not here it is heard on the news for the red it on the on Facebook on Twitter and they assume these things to be true so then they themselves father they were experts so what was happening in and they were not so then what happened
is that a lot of people started to create all of these rumors and you have to understand that Intelsat and because we have had so
many conflicts um it's we haven't really had to have only 20 per cent of our population is literate so when the and and so they don't question at the other the 80 per cent they own questioning is not part of our example we see our culture and tradition with a question as much and not a lot has to do with a 21 year old war that we had a what happened is when a lot of people started to make up things on Facebook this is what's happening because you think that your next creating you know what's happening then you would call back home you say all this place is being attacked
you would believe that people start believing it because it would put a phone calls so they will think all this person in the United States or in Canada and Australia must know what's happening and then people start getting paranoid and then something happens so that
was the experience that I had with Facebook within the diaspora and then within South Sudan in a lot of it had to do with education level of course because we do have a lot of I said that the literacy levels and then also because a lot of people just because you are using Facebook doesn't mean that you understand the impact of that that when you using social media does and it doesn't mean that you understand the impact that has on other people's laptops so that is the experience that I had in the diaspora in themselves the thanks to examine maybe you you
also want to Japan in and talk from your perspective about that that incident also the realizing what would Social Media does to a conflict in your experience and so on and on politics and on
and on spend like internally half of my life and says to them and that's where going to school that's where stayed in word
and then stuff so when the conflict actually started it's that when I was Dubai and I would just like to give our small background tools out of so in south that we have like after statistic for tribes and we have the like describes being the Dinka tribe just like pretty by per cent of the population and then the 2nd trial based in which right so by and then we had the pre coming from the Dinka tribe and therefore 1st vise president who was sacked Anna was removed from the was from the it right so when the confidence that into 2 and 13 but it later took on this impact and that the population hot right so the inca as a kind of support the the government and then where was point in the river movement so
that was the kind of thing that happened so from that time social media started taking deploying from there and the same kind of statistic population and stuff and this travel thing was used to manipulate the whole situation so there's 1 popping up
costs that cannot be 2015 when this whole conference that it and the what was used to in some way of say insightful involve other communities that are not part of this you know committee set outputs the wall to wall coming in or take action there was I chaired message that can 1 Facebook and again from what sites or 1 was saying that in if they get done would then where do come to the equatorial right so do
source teddy portrait message that they could parents were living in fear because slowly does some things what happened to them and this kind of situation continued also messages
coming from different places and you find that the cyber space is like more especially on facebook groups people kind of expressed disappointment all kind of react these messages in a way that is not really good and you find that a kind of a culture all I would say a scenario of suspicion and mistrust is kind of PET within communities and people look at themselves as enemies so as you tried I mean afferent stuff about what you're planning to us on Facebook and this is what came up so like from all of vision as a person who was you know it's has done when this whole thing you know who you are when know study ways this was a kind of observation that I had to become a standard well thank you very much and the you maybe I would like to ask you to to show is a bit
of the you know the reactions that came in and specifically what would you will also explain this later on and trying to figure out not only what is what is that hate speech and how is triggering to the conflict adopt but also potentially what kind a remedies some do we have and how how can we deal with it and but also what kind of substance and what kind of substantial damage and can do to to communities in what you just some
explained in this conflict scenarios thanks well thank you notes and good evening everyone and thank you Steve for the introduction and I just liked it t up my presentation with a short three-minute video that's will introduce you
to the hate speech issue in South Sudan this was released actually last week on World Press Freedom Day and it's intended for South Sudanese social media audience but to raise awareness and offer some practical guidance and a native speaker has become 1 of the
few in that is creating cell spent on the island of Grande
from where the cut but I was saying the right thing I
know the
door of the world in
2011 damaging independence from saddam becoming in this country in the
world at 1st South Sudanese or very
hopeful for the future but longstanding
political conflicts erupted into violence in some 20 the team and again in July 20
16 on the emergence of
hate speech online using platforms like Facebook Twitter and what's up has helped
to inflame tensions insults about
case which is defined as the set on either side of us to discriminate or act
against individuals or groups based on
the ethnic racial religious gender or national identity a message was sent from the USA and I felt that
is was using 1 the battalion that
link to about that job was not an intended must all by the total that went
to the center the city to put
some of to execute the whether it's a the quality of the
so what about our work is the
group of 2 cheery was it would tell you if you tonight and this is this
information was also like what did he do to me by the Commission until the of when they did
so mainly in the world of which they spread information it but in the
end of the random acts today and and events like that of the act out there
has been a lot of people who have a
lot of them in the things you still have friends and 1
of the most of it was the
mastery of the theory of I
get upset but mine is practically the there's a lot of ways of life of the people that I know of getting a lot of faith from of the of a family
life only to fail if you think about a lot of the work that I have
a pretty so there's no right something that is linked then we need to bring a piece of land
that you used to can take action against in speech by taking these steps that you
understand the language we use promote hatred on social media of the tree we check the quality and credibility of sources of information in predefined accuracy you information before discussing the motion of the and reported instances of hate speech and social media like Facebook and Twitter each time
as a tool for reporting on speech by these 2 units of of finding a pH and OK so my name is
your Dolan and and with that piece Tech
Labs by a Nairobi Kenya p-set lab is a recent spin-off from the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC and we
work at the intersection of media technology and data to resolve conflicts around the world 1 of the areas in which we work
is to prevent a media incitement to violence and hate speech and as an American I realize that I might lack some credibility when talking about hate speech given the current administration the west but please bear with me I'll be talking about our work in in South Sudan so that's that's really the focus here on the
mn we 1st came across the issue of hate speech
but in South Sudan while working with local partners to produce the Salahshour Bob peacebuilding radio drama for you now in its 4th season social Bob is a form of behavior change communication for peace building in other words it's entertaining radio drama while also educating youth on the values and skills that they could use to build peace in South Sudan and through the social social media community and SNS platforms that support the program we were able to interact with youth across the country and we begin to understand the virulence of hate speech particularly on social media and its influence on events on the ground in some so I want to labor the point in terms of the events on the ground here some or effect statistics but um this situation is incredibly dire but the economy is on the verge of collapse of the peace process is in shambles a famine has now struck and recently the United Nations warned that South Sudan is on the brink of genocide but to be honest I think they were already at that point and time is against this backdrop many have recognized the important role that hate speech has been playing in the conflict whereas in Rwanda we saw radio being mostly used to propagate hate speech in South Sudan hate speech is occurring mostly to uh through social media and in fact most of is coming through diaspora communities in countries like Australia the UK US in Kenya and although Internet access is still relatively low in South Sudan rumors misinformation and hate speech can travel at warp speed through mobile phone communications and word of mouth so in July of last year for example when reported threats on social media came from the South Sudanese Army Chief of Staff home along the Sonic speech video uh that there would be an intended massacre of Ecuador into Juba people believed the news and many mobilized to try to prevent the the uh the reported attacks from from taking place even those completely false and so even though the problem of hate speech has been identified it's much more difficult to find solutions to many individuals and organizations have tried
monitoring and countering hate speech in many countries and I hope what has been missing often is a common understanding of what hate speech language actually looks like and so to better understand the language of he used online in South Sudan peace that lab
conducted research to analyze and contextualized speech on various social media platforms and and this project included several stages 1st we identified his speech terms and we did throw so through a survey of South Sudanese in the country and in the diaspora communities to understand what they felt were the most virulent hate speech terms and why these terms for inflammatory and what groups they were used against in which platforms they saw these terms used in and based on that we developed this lexicon of of his speech terms and the 2nd step was that we applied the terms from the lexicon and uh to a series of social analytics tools to identify examples of hate speech the surrounding the conflict and relevant trends based on this content and to validate the findings we conducted dialogs with socities diaspora communities and shared our findings to regular reporting to those interested and lastly we begin working with a counter hate speech initiatives like he now and honor to bind to support their efforts and understand the needs of the and to share all of this we created a data portal so anyone interested in combating hate speech anywhere can access our findings and apply it to their specific context you can so to give you an idea of what are reporting looks like these are some examples of terms we've identified through surveys and incorporated them into our monitoring on the right we see example posts we were able to uncover from monitoring the term at the top and TN is the name of a mobile operator in South Sudan and it's not blind slogan is everywhere you go well this term has been co-opted and used as a derogatory reference for the Dinka which is the largest private ancestor then and it's been used both online and offline but also forced specifically targeting tickets for attacks uh in the latter part of last year um on the roadways in in some of
the Ecuador in status of sedan cars were stopped drivers who were asked you have any MT and in your vehicle and if yes these people were were pulled out and violently attacked you
you so it's important to note again just like any language uh these terms are obviously highly new answer requires a strong understanding of the context in
which they are being used to determine the links to conflict and and we've we've just taken a small step here I don't I don't pretend that this the resources for producing all all-encompassing they're not but there's that you can use a program
so we've been able to develop a range of findings and visualisations from our analysis including key themes that emerged in this conversation these are word clouds joint conversations that identify on the left I hate speech and on the right uh countering hate speech and you the volume of hate speech and use of particular words which we analyze alongside reports of violence against groups across country are are shown here and platforms insights in which hate speech is occurring are shown here and actually this this is just a brief snapshot from some references but um as you can see online forums have a high prevalence of hate speech blogs but actually what's not shown is that Facebook is by far the most common platforms for uh for harboring hate speech it's just that it's not public content they're often in closed form so and know you did so this is this is a kind of social network analysis that the shows how hate speeches disseminated from the different nodes that connect people and you can see in some instances the strength of the connection by the width of the line taken literally see who's disseminating hate speech and whom the influence and I think this is particularly
fascinating read but angiographies so in this case
um In this case we can see uh where is that in the diaspora the hate speech is coming from and on the positive side where people are engaging with Cameron campaigns that you so using these outputs we developed a bi weekly monitoring reports to share relevant information on recent events and findings on hate speech with partners working in South Sudan we've also created a data portal to share like visualizations from its monitoring work as well as resources for other groups who want to be engaged in caring efforts made just around about um terms of next next steps can be working a lot more this year with divide now and other groups and in these areas will continue to refine and expand the lexicon and updated with new terms language is always changing you will develop into an online training module to help South Sudanese social media users check sources verify information and report instances of of hate speech online on various platforms will be conducting in person trainings in partnership with local caring efforts will be enhancing our reporting with new data visualizations and will be engaging in dialog with diaspora groups uh to validate our findings and explore information flows and last not least will be expanding the work to develop predictive analytics capabilities with the aim of warning peacebuilding and humanitarian response groups of likely outbreaks of violence and opportunities for that than this to me is this kind of the holy grail of our work in peace building and technology if we can actually prevent violence based on some of our research than that we've actually got somewhere around thank you you make you feel they do that and I think
from this analysis of making is understood understand better what is a speech and in what context and how are you going to work in countering it I would like to ask Joe to tell us more about how that countering hate speech really work so what kind of attempts of and responses on you following
and maybe also what you would hope for some you know support from outside of support from inside with what you would hope for the future for your kind of work so if I now in in South Sudan we look at ways and how we can mitigate and that the effect of online hate speech and in South Sudan we do 1 at community engagement engagement activities that have a lot of positive outcomes and we tried to also that we we also do training we do an added trainings with journalists with our lawmakers to teach them about hate speech or to teach even journalistic attest and how to protect themselves from hate speech because they it is a very difficult position to be in to be able to have some to be able to tell that the audience but in a balanced way and in that in use we give a letter training is also in school we we work with media producers and we do we we engage with community out by hand through through dialog at the moment in while working to but we're also working in other war in Uganda were working in the refugee camps are working with all of the the refugees
that are critical to
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Metadaten

Formale Metadaten

Titel Social Media and Conflict: How to mitigate online hate speech that fuels violence?
Serientitel re:publica 2017
Teil 139
Anzahl der Teile 235
Autor Kovats, Stephen
Dolan, Theo
Mach, Achol Jok
Jaiksana, Amarüda José
Weber, Annette
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt zu jedem legalen Zweck nutzen, verändern und in unveränderter oder veränderter Form vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen und das Werk bzw. diesen Inhalt auch in veränderter Form nur unter den Bedingungen dieser Lizenz weitergeben.
DOI 10.5446/33059
Herausgeber re:publica
Erscheinungsjahr 2017
Sprache Englisch

Inhaltliche Metadaten

Fachgebiet Informatik
Abstract Since gaining independence in 2011 the Republic of South Sudan has become embroiled in a protracted civil conflict claiming thousands of lives and displacing over a million people. When violent clashes between government and opposition forces erupted in the capital Juba on the eve of its fifth anniversary in July 2016 the role played by social media in stoking violence, fear and ethnic hatred came to the fore. Initiatives such as #defyhatenow, working with local communities to identify and mitigate social media hate speech, along with the surveying and monitoring of ethnic hate terminology by the Peace Tech Lab seek to create mechanisms to curb conflict rhetoric as urgent peace-building...

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