South Bend Tribune: Notre Dame hosts first military anti-war movement conference. “The University of Notre Dame wrapped up the first major conference nationally that specifically examined the opposition of war by members of the military during the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The three-day conference brought together academics and activists to discuss veteran and military members’ opposition to U.S. interventions abroad, and the implications of their actions, while also kicking off a photo exhibit and heralding the launch of a new online project that archives anti-war newspapers printed by members of the military during the Vietnam War.” I could not find a link to the new online collection, but I did find it via a Google search.
Gizmodo: Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract. “It’s been nearly three months since many Google employees—and the public—learned about the company’s decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, about a dozen Google employees are resigning in protest over the company’s continued involvement in Maven.”
BBC News: ‘Pakistan’s army tried to hack my Facebook’. “In December 2016 Diep Saeeda, an outspoken human rights activist from the Pakistani city of Lahore, received a short message on Facebook from someone she didn’t know but with whom she had a number of friends in common: ‘Hy dear.’ She didn’t think much of it and never got round to replying. But the messages weren’t coming from a fan of Mrs Saeeda’s activism – instead they were the start of a sustained campaign of digital attacks attempting to install malware on her computer and mobile phone to spy on her and steal her data.”
ABC Action News: Graduation caps decorated to celebrate accomplishment but also promote political messages. “In a sea of graduation caps, how do you stand out? Increasingly, students are decorating their caps to showcase some part of their life. UNLV professor and folklorist Sheila Bock began studying trends behind graduation caps after she first arrived in Las Vegas in 2011. She began formally researching in 2015, taking photos from around the country and interviewing students on their graduation cap design choices.”
GlobalVoices: Billions Served? Human Rights in the Facebook Era . “During the 2011 Arab Uprisings, Facebook proved itself to be one of the most powerful technological catalysts for free speech and democratic mobilization that the world had ever seen. While it did not cause the uprisings, it was a critical driver of their growth. In that same year, the number of Facebook users in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East (i.e. the ‘Global South’) surpassed the number of users in Europe in North America. From this moment on, it was truly a global platform, despite being a US company.”
BuzzFeed: Silicon Valley Can’t Be Trusted With Our History. “It’s the paradox of the internet age: Smartphones and social media have created an archive of publicly available information unlike any in human history — an ocean of eyewitness testimony. But while we create almost everything on the internet, we control almost none of it. In the summer of 2017, observers of the Syrian civil war realized that YouTube was removing dozens of channels and tens of thousands of videos documenting the conflict. The deletions occurred after YouTube announced that it had deployed ‘cutting-edge machine learning technology … to identify and remove violent extremism and terrorism-related content.’ But the machines went too far.”
Ekklesia: New resource offers hope to Cambodians challenging their government. “As Reporters Without Borders reveals that Cambodia has dropped ten places in its press freedom index, Global Witness and Open Corporates have launched a huge new dataset that will hand power back to the country’s citizens. The data, which shows who owns and controls companies in Cambodia, can help journalists and activists to expose the sorts of corruption and abuses that have helped keep the regime in power for over thirty years.”