Fast Company: There’s now a chatbot to give refugees instant legal advice. “For a Syrian refugee in Lebanon who is trying to navigate the legal path to resettlement, it can be difficult to find answers—and overstretched humanitarian organizations can take as long as three months to respond to an email when the demand for help is highest. A new chatbot called Mona, designed for Facebook Messenger and Telegram, can help more quickly.”
Middle East Eye: ‘Like killing them again’: Syrians fear history lost as Twitter plans account purge. “The digital traces of the Syrian uprising, uploaded in real time as protests grew against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011, are at risk of being deleted by social media companies, Syrian campaigners are warning. Last week Twitter said it will begin deleting accounts that have been inactive for more than six months, which will likely impact hundreds of accounts of those killed, detained or disappeared in the conflict, say founders of a Syria digital archive of the war.”
University of New Haven: Professor Strives to Use Music to Share the Culture of Refugees. “Before joining the University of New Haven faculty in 2012, Erica Haskell, Ph.D. lived and worked in a refugee camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While in Europe, she also visited camps in Hungary, Serbia, and Romania, recording refugee stories and songs from around the world. She hopes to continue this work through the launch of the Schindler Refugee Music Project, which will share the experiences of refugees living in New Haven, by presenting their stories and the music of their home countries through podcasts.”
ProPublica: Google Says Google Translate Can’t Replace Human Translators. Immigration Officials Have Used It to Vet Refugees. . “Documents shared with ProPublica show that immigration officials have been told to vet refugees’ social media posts using Google Translate. Language experts caution even students against using the service.” I could do a whole big article on Google Translate being used inadvisably.
Business Insider: Twitter mysteriously suspended several accounts linked to women who say they are refugees fleeing abuse in Saudi Arabia. “Twitter has suspended accounts claiming to belong to two Saudi Arabian sisters who fled the country to seek asylum, as well as the account of an activist who was posting on their behalf.”
Hungary Today: New Database on Trianon Refugees Published. “A new database containing the names, residence, occupation, and place of arrival of more than 15,000 Hungarian refugees who arrived in Hungary between 1918 and 1928 has been published. These refugees had to leave their homes after a large part of Hungary’s land was transferred to neighboring countries after the Treaty of Trianon was signed.”
The Editor’s Desk: Covering the uprooted. “Each spring, journalism students from UNC-Chapel Hill create a multimedia project that focuses on a place and topic. Previous subjects have included the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the youth movement in Cuba. This year, the students focused on refugees in Colombia who have left Venezuela to escape political turmoil and to find jobs and medical care. The result is Uprooted, a website that uses text, graphics, photographs and video to tell their stories.”