Berkeley News: New website amplifies refugee voices amid immigration crackdowns. “To humanize the growing refugee crisis, researchers at UC Berkeley and UC Davis have launched an interactive website that maps the perilous ordeals of thousands of displaced people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia through their own personal stories and social media posts.”
Government Executive: Citizenship Agency Removed Website Pages on Asylum Policy Training. “In the latest in its ongoing monitoring of Trump administration alterations of agency website content, a transparency group found that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services removed 26 website documents of training material for its officers dealing with asylum seekers.”
VPR: ‘Mediafugees’: New Website Invites Refugees From All Over To Share Their Own Stories. “The plights of people forced from their homes have been reported all over the world, but one journalist in Montreal has decided to tell these stories by creating a platform for the refugees to tell the stories themselves. ‘We are really into, you know, displaying stories from all around the world because we believe the refugee issue is a global issue,’ said journalist Camille Teste, co-founder of the new website Mediafugees.”
CUNY Thesis: Explaining Animosity Towards the Roma: A Case Study of Twitter Communication in Italy during the Refugee Crisis. “Italy is known for hostile treatment of the Roma, one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Europe. This paper seeks to understand what is causing Italians to talk negatively about the Roma on Twitter. Statistical analysis is performed utilizing the data mined from Twitter along with other variables. The study finds that Roma population, foreign population, and number of refugees all have significant effects on the total number of tweets or the average negative sentiment of tweets. The results indicate that native Italians may group minority groups all together and regard them as “others”. Although the research design has some flaws in the data mining and sentiment analysis process, the study shows promise. I suggest that social scientists utilize social media data to analyze social or cultural phenomena.” This thesis is embargoed and will not be available for download until May 30.
CBS News: “Technology is like a bomb”: Social media weaponized in Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis. “The utopian dream of internet and social media pioneers — the idea that connecting millions of people in cyberspace would make the world a better place — has run into a darker reality as invisible armies of trolls, bots and propagandists use the technology to sway public opinion and poison debate. Perhaps nowhere has that impact been more malign than in Myanmar, where social media has been weaponized against the vulnerable Rohingya minority as the regime carries out what one U.N. official calls ‘a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.'”
Emirates News Agency: Haya bint Al Hussein launches Humanitarian Logistics Databank. “The long-awaited solution is an information sharing platform dedicated to emergency preparedness and response. It facilitates the collection and sharing of data in real-time on prepositioned aid and humanitarian assets, helping to make emergency responses more timely and cost-efficient…. The Databank will employ automated tracking of aid movements based on customs data from ports, airports, and other entry points. It will provide the global humanitarian community with information on the exact positioning of critical relief items such as food, medicine and shelter, making them accessible to all cooperating parties. This platform will improve collaboration and will help avoid bottlenecks in ports and airports.” It appears to be very early days for this initiative, the announcement also notes: “In its first phase, the Humanitarian Logistics Databank, will begin gathering data on aid shipments from Dubai in 2018. It will then be replicated in other humanitarian hubs across the world by January 2019.”
France24: Language of persecuted Rohingya poised to go digital. “For decades the Rohingya have been denied recognition in Myanmar but the persecuted minority is close to securing a crucial symbol of their identity — their own unique digital alphabet. The language of the stateless Muslim people has been included in the planned upgrade to the Unicode Standard, the global coding system that turns written script into digital characters and numbers.”