Gulf News: Social media is more a bane than boon for protests

Gulf News: Social media is more a bane than boon for protests. “We must not remain blind to the fact that the world had also witnessed numerous powerful movements even before the arrival of social media. People had successfully protested to get freedom from colonial powers in the 1950s and 1960s and had forced dictators to surrender their power leading to a democratisation wave worldwide from 1974 to 1991. So, it is not that social media is a must for people to mobilise successfully. For social media to bring better benefits to protest mobilisation, the country needs a free, fair, and accessible virtual space, a rarity in most of the South and the East. While social media has some positive contributions for mobilising dissent, at the same time, can be a double-edged sword.”

DCist: The Historian Behind ‘Chocolate City’ Wants You To Know How The Black Power Movement Reshaped D.C.

DCist: The Historian Behind ‘Chocolate City’ Wants You To Know How The Black Power Movement Reshaped D.C.. “[George Derek] Musgrove is the co-author, with Chris Myers Asch, of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital. On Monday, the first day of Black History Month, Musgrove launched a new website that explores an antecedent to today’s Black Lives Matter movement and push for racial justice — the Black Power movement. Musgrove wanted to tell the story of how the District became a national center of Black Power organizing, just like New York, Los Angeles, Newark, and Chicago.”

The Conversation: Why COVID-19 won’t kill cities

The Conversation: Why COVID-19 won’t kill cities. “Restaurants, small businesses and even big brand-name retail chains are closing in record numbers. Mass transit systems, like New York City’s, are warning of severe cuts in service if they don’t get aid soon as state and local tax revenue plunges. Many have fled to rural or suburban areas. And the situation appears likely to only worsen as America endures a ‘dark winter’ with no guarantee of more aid from Congress. Despite these challenges, two scholars who study cities explain why they think urban areas will endure – even if they don’t get the aid from Congress that now seems more likely.”

BBC: The Instagrammers who worry Iran

BBC: The Instagrammers who worry Iran. “As the only major social media network not blocked by the government, Instagram is a popular platform for young Iranians to express themselves. This has created a dilemma for the government, which experts say is loath to block the tool for fear of provoking unrest, hampering business owners who rely on it for advertising, and severing a useful means of communication with its citizens. Instead, the government has attempted to act as a moderator.”

Artnet News: These Are the 22 Art Projects That Social Media Went Bananas Over in 2020

Artnet News: These Are the 22 Art Projects That Social Media Went Bananas Over in 2020. “As the phrase ‘going viral’ took on a new, far more literal definition this year, art that went viral on the internet evolved into a role more important than ever. While we were stuck at home, art shared online served variously as a public-health tool, an amplification of cries for social justice, and a much-needed means of escape. Here are some of the most memorable artworks and at-home art trends that were widely shared in 2020.”

Al Jazeera: How social media regulations are silencing dissent in Africa

Al Jazeera: How social media regulations are silencing dissent in Africa. “Through social media platforms, the #EndSARS activists not only managed to call thousands of Nigerians to action and hold Nigerian authorities to account, but also garnered unprecedented international attention and support for their cause. The fact that a burgeoning human rights movement has been contemplated, created and sustained online did not go unnoticed in the overwhelmingly conservative halls of power in Nigeria. Shaken to the core by this new media phenomenon and its astounding proclivity to galvanise a traditionally silenced and disregarded youthful majority, some Nigerian state governors and public officials started to demand that social media be regulated.”

VentureBeat: How to make sure your ‘AI for good’ project actually does good

VentureBeat: How to make sure your ‘AI for good’ project actually does good. “AI has the potential to help us address some of humanity’s biggest challenges like poverty and climate change. However, as any technological tool, it is agnostic to the context of application, the intended end-user, and the specificity of the data. And for that reason, it can ultimately end up having both beneficial and detrimental consequences. In this post, I’ll outline what can go right and what can go wrong in AI for good projects and will suggest some best practices for designing and deploying AI for good projects.”

Radio Free Europe: Belarusian Protesters Counter Authorities’ Moves With Online Tactics

Radio Free Europe: Belarusian Protesters Counter Authorities’ Moves With Online Tactics. “The risks are high, with opposition leaders such as Maryya Kalesnikava jailed after being accused of using media and the Internet to stage protests. But Belarusians are defying the authorities by going online to expose members of the security services cracking down on demonstrations, recruit volunteers, share news and information, and strategize methods of peaceful protest.”

Slate: How Tech Tools Helped Taiwanese Activists Turn a Social Movement Into Real Policy Change

Slate: How Tech Tools Helped Taiwanese Activists Turn a Social Movement Into Real Policy Change. “One community of civic-oriented programmers active in the Sunflower Movement named g0v (pronounced ‘gov-zero’) assembled a collection of open source programs to build vTaiwan, a hybrid online and in-person deliberation process. VTaiwan has a broad set of features that help citizens, government agencies, and civil society reach agreements on contentious issues. The process allows users to transparently propose policies and crowdsource facts, facilitate public discussion, deliberate with key stakeholders, and draft suggested changes.”

Washington Post: Nearly 200,000 deaths, millions of ripples. Each covid-19 fatality shifts attitudes about the virus.

Washington Post: Nearly 200,000 deaths, millions of ripples. Each covid-19 fatality shifts attitudes about the virus.. “The novel coronavirus claimed Cleon Boyd. Then, six days later, it took his identical twin brother, Leon. As they lay dying, the disease cascaded through their family, eventually infecting 11 of their immediate relatives. The Boyd family’s harrowing experience rippled through the towns where they lived and worked, sharply altering attitudes toward the coronavirus and spreading adoption of social distancing and face coverings.”

Social media and social justice: How to vet online awareness campaigns before jumping in (CNET)

CNET: Social media and social justice: How to vet online awareness campaigns before jumping in. “Whether it’s a black square on #BlackOutTuesday or a black-and-white selfie for #womensupportingwomen, odds are you’ve seen some campaign related to a social cause take over your newsfeed. But at a time when calls to take action are louder than ever, how much good can social media campaigns really do? Fact is, they’re not all created equal, and you’ll want to pause before deciding which ones to support.”

Library of Congress: The March on Washington in Color

Library of Congress / Unsplash Guest Post: The March on Washington in Color. “[August 28] marks the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington—when a quarter-million people came together to draw attention to the continued challenges and inequalities faced by Black Americans. The two dozen or so color photographs from that day and its leaders are locked down under expensive licenses, inaccessible to the general public, limiting the usage and awareness of one of the most defining moments in American history. Today, we fix this. With the help of the team at the Library and visual historian Jordan Lloyd, we’ve assembled a set of images with no known restrictions from the March, its leaders and segregated America.”

Uncut and unedited: Livestreamers have become a key cog in the Louisville protests (USA Today)

USA Today: Uncut and unedited: Livestreamers have become a key cog in the Louisville protests. “Just before 7 p.m. May 28, Louisville entertainer Montez Jones was in a car on the way to an impromptu protest in the name of Breonna Taylor. He opened his Facebook page and hit ‘go live.’ Within hours, hundreds of people had joined him downtown – the crowd growing as word spread through texts, calls and shares of his livestream. Fast-forward three months, and the protests have continued, with people young and old calling for justice for the unarmed Black woman killed in March at the hands of police.”

Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University: New Online Tool Tracks Oil and Gas Transformation

Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University: New Online Tool Tracks Oil and Gas Transformation. “To help explain how the oil and gas sector is transforming, the many challenges the industry is facing, and the intersecting factors that will shape its role in the energy transition, the Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) partnered with the World Economic Forum on the Oil and Gas Transformation Map, an interactive tool for users to explore and make sense of the complex and interlinked forces that will dictate the future of the industry.”