As part of the Misinformation Ecosystems Conference Series 2018 and in partnership with r0g_agency a.o. Disruption Network Lab presents:
Manipulators, Trolls and Influencers
Investigating online opinion manipulation, strategic hate speech and misinformation – and their impact on civil rights.
What is the relation between deliberate spread of hate online and political manipulation?
This event looks into the online and offline consequences of spreading hate and false facts in the context of social media and the press, and analyses technological and social responses to these phenomena.
Since mid-2016 r0g_agency has become increasingly active with its partners on peacebuilding and open tech innovation at a number of South Sudanese refugee settlements in Uganda, primarily in the regions of Arua, Adjumani and Bweyale. Beginning with the first pilot trainings using the #ASKotec kit as part of the 2016 jHUB community development workshops at the Panyadoli Self-Help Secondary School (Kirandongo refugee settlement) r0g_agency began to conduct outreach and training at numerous sites as part of the #defyhatenow initiative in 2017 as well. Given that project partners who had formerly been active in South Sudan had to flee or support relatives at these sites, activities continued and expanded in these new contexts reaching more communities who were both affected by conflict as well as actively engaged in peacebuilding. In doing so the projects also increasingly came into contact with further local initiatives and NGOs working to train and empower local youths, working to bring new perspectives to young people for a life beyond conflict. Precisely locating and identifying the broad range of activities that these organisations are involved in and getting a sense – not only of their physical location – but also of their missions, communities, resources etc., r0g_agency introduced the #ojoVoz community documentation and witnessing tool to begin plotting a user driven map of the region.
The first test nodes for an ASKnet map of South Sudan refugee innovation nodes in Uganda, focusing on training, innovation or points of cultural action, as well as local support infrastructure were generated as part of a preliminary mapping exercise in December 2017. As the local teams, including partners such as YSAT (Youth Social Advocacy Team) and CTEN (Community Technology Empowerment Network) working in Rhino Camp and Bidi Bidi settlements, along with Adjumani based YEF (Youth Empowerment Foundation) build up their activities, visit and interact with other groups and initiatives the ASKnet map (Access to Skill and Knowledge network map) should become a resource useful to anyone interested in supporting youth skills training, empowerment and peacebuilding activities. If you would like to contribute to the mapping effort, please contact ASK@openculture.agency. You can learn about and download the free and open source ojoVoz Android app here, as well as learn about the Sauti ya Wakulima project by Eugenio Tisselli that led to the development of the app.
“We just wanna dedicate this song, to everyone who lost their love ones, in the wars, and all we wanna do right now
is to create a #PeaceVillage for everyone to live in
we wanna change the way that people live and to #defyhatenow.”
Lyrics: Jaiksana A. José (RonnyRiddimz pan de beat – intro.)
Roundtable Discussion @ r0g_agency, Berlin
In the face of recent and disturbing news from South Sudan, you are cordially invited to a round-table discussion with Ambassador Johannes Lehne and our South Sudanese social media expert Nelson Kwaje, at the r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation.
This informal discussion around grassroots peacebuilding through education, innovation and culture is on Tuesday, March 28, 6-8 pm at our new Charlottenburg office in Knobelsdorffstr. 22, 14059 Berlin, Germany.
#Peace4ALL #defyhatenow #PeaceVillage
The #PeaceVillage uses music to send positive and educational messages through songs and poems, raising awareness of the consequences of violence and the importance of peace building by discouraging hate speech online and offline.
The music program was designed to break down the prejudices that exist among South Sudanese communities and foster a culture of reconciliation by sending positive & educational messages through music & poems.
Brought together by their desire and commitment to fight ignorance about hate speech online and the effects of war, the groups embeds education in their lyrics in a bid to #defyhatenow.
#defyhatenow: Mobilising Civic Action Against Hate Speech and Directed Social Media Incitement to Violence in South Sudan.
#defyhatenow is an initiative to combat social media hate speech by the r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, Berlin, and independent partners in Juba, funded by the ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (zivik) with means of the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).
r0g_agency are very happy to coordinate the international social media #peacejam for UN World #peaceday, September 21st 2016
Events taking place now with #defyhatenow partners in Juba, Wau & Maban (South Sudan); Nairobi & Kibera (Kenya); Rhino Camp in Uganda, Edmonton Canada; and whever you are online.
Please use hashtags #PeaceJam #DefyHateNow #SouthSudan & #PeaceDay on your social media posts & tweets. Using #peacejam #defyhatenow hashtags will help track the broader South Sudanese use of online channels for positive cultural change, and gain a better understanding of the social media peace landscape of South Sudan.
Peace messages from Juba #peacejam “Peace is our strength” by Abar Algor & “PEACE is NO PoCs” by Soro Wilso
Selected events include traditional youth dance, street theatre and workshop in Juba; The Rhino Camp #PeaceJam (Arua, Northern Region, Uganda) which aims to reconnect south Sudanese Refugees in Uganda through an open interaction and workshop based event. Following the recent escalation of violence in south sudan majoring in towns like Yei, Wau and Yambio of the former western Equatoria state there has been an increasing rate of refugee influx to Uganda, South Sudan’s neighboring country; Diaspora meeting to #peacejam in Edmonton, Canada; Social media awareness and peace message workshop at The Hub, East Africa in Nairobi.
Traditional dancers & youth group, street theatre in Juba Sept 21st.
#PeaceVillage #PeaceJam, Uganda
The #Defyhatenow initiative brings together South Sudanese youth, elders and women from four refugee cluster settlements of Ariaze A & B, Ariwa, Simbili and Eden of the Rhino Camp to a peace building event. Aimed at networking, reconciliation and connecting South Sudanese socially through open interaction, peace messaging, drama, traditional dances and music. A brief presentation on dangerous speech will raise awareness of online hate rhetoric as one of the key contributing factors to the current South Sudan crisis. The conflict has maintained a steady escalation after July 7th 2016, forcing a large number of South Sudanese to move to Uganda, now the top country hosting asylum seekers from South Sudan.
#SautiKubwa #Peacejam, Kibera Nairobi
Swahili word, translating to “the big voice,” organises fun events to bring together different communities living in Kibera slums. Collaborating with brothers and sisters from neighbouring countries to inspire people working together for peace, health & education. #SautiKubwa is a variation on the #peacejam in the form of funny short competitions including, laughing, eating and face-making (gurning). Ending with a hug, and posing for photos with the sign of peace, all are winners, Young footballers – an important part of our community for peacebuilding, will have a juggling competition & final #peacejam photo message.
Wikipedia Peace Agents #Peacejam
A first step in the wikipedia peace agents, where wikipedia is ‘mined’ to get an initial overview of information about South Sudan, what languages are being used etc … and for things that are particularly interesting to promote peace, unity and cultural diversity to bring these into the social media sphere, via facebook and twitter. Also contacting wikipedia authors, sources & connectors.
While you are #peacejamming, actively look for; link to; comment on and share / retweet any other South Sudan related peace, unity, cultural, artistic or positive development stories, organisations (grass roots, local, literacy/education, youth, women’s, diaspora groups etc) or online campaigns.
#peacejamming now! #southsudan world #peaceday social media #peacejam#defyhatenow Share your peace messages on social media – please use hashtags #PeaceJam #DefyHateNow #SouthSudan in your postings & tweets; repostings & retweets. Participate online by sharing your peace messages on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc).
Mobilizing Action against Hate Speech and Directed Social Media Incitement to Violence in South Sudan
Evaluation Report for the Initial Project Period, 2015
by Petra Bormann January 2016
Executive Summary In 2015 the Berlin based agency r0g launched a project to act on the ongoing South Sudan political and civil crisis which has resulted in the creation of a civil war and internal refugee catastrophe. The project was designed as a response to the growing problem of social media based hate speech and its directed incitement to violence. The first project phase comprised the following components:
workshops and training on the subject of hate speech for civil society representatives
monitoring and documentation of online hate speech
outreach and media campaigns in order to raise awareness about the issue
This report provides an analysis and evaluation of the activities conducted throughout the project´s first implementation phase. The evaluation is based on the assessment of qualitative and quantitive data, including interviews with the project manager as well as the findings of a feedback questionnaire that was sent out to project participants. During its initial phase the project achieved measurable results but also faced some constraints due to external and international challenges. This includes a tight timeframe, administrative barriers, economic and safety matters in South Sudan while the project activities were implemented on the ground. The following results are related to the project outcome:
the documentation of the emergency of the situation with all project participants stating they have experienced hate speech on social media
awareness raising on media related hate speech and incitement to violence
a reputation as a neutral, trustworthy partner on the ground was being established
strong ties with local partners were being developed and existing collaborations extended
For the further improvement and development of the project, recommendations discussed in this report include:
the further monitoring, documentation and systematic classification of hate speech
the development of training resources and the design of hate speech counter strategies
the strengthening of existing networks with local partners while creating new collaboration opportunities
#Defyhatenow Youth Outreach Challenge December 19, 2015
Venues Nile Beach Hotel
Youths are ambassadors of peace, Youth Empowerment Scheme is conducting one day workshop on December 19, 2015, the theme: #Defyhatenow Youth Outreach Challenge with the focus on the perception and awareness of online hate speech. Online hate speeches had negatively and indirectly fueled the escalation of December 15, 2013 crisis, thousands of photos, images, and distorted messages were circulating in every corner of the social media, particularly “Facebook”. The December 15, 2013 crisis with it elements including social media had sharply divided communities along ethnic line.
As the country is recuperating toward peace, healing and reconciliation #Defyhatenow in collaboration with Ebony Center for strategic Studies is launching an online hate speeches awareness and challenge youth to counteract online hate speech with online peace building campaign messages and photos.
youth Empowerment scheme under the umbrella of Ebony Center for Strategic Studies had done many peace building mobilization campaigns, youth skill acquisitions and entrepreneurship workshops with the overall objectives of rebuilding fragmented social fabric in South Sudan. Youth at the Youth Empowerment Scheme Resource Center work collaborative as brothers/sisters, unity within diversity is paramount.
PoC camp Juba 17th December 2015
By The Mail
A workshop aimed at combating hate speech in the social media took place at the UN protection camp in Juba recently.
The workshop was facilitated by correspondents of a campaigned named #defyhatenow initiated by r0g_agency for open culture and crit- ical transformation gGmbH (Berlin), and in coordination with the children charity organization based inside the UN camp.
The workshop which was mainly attended by teachers within the camp aimed at raising awareness on social media as well as brainstorming on different ways in which hate speech in the social media can be combated. Abraham Todel Wit , one of the members of The children charity organization. said during the work- shop that Hate speech through the social media today is a real risk. He added We as citizens of this country we have a full responsibility to combat it. He further suggests that Before the war in 2013 there were some rumors devastating but with this crisis those rumors have increased and used by different Actors in the conflict to incite violence.
Attendees got to share their personal experiences on effects of hate speech in the social media as well as share ideas on how best they think it can be controlled. The #defyhatenow team aims at organizing more of this campaigns as well as a massive media campaign aimed at combating this vice.
#PeaceHackCamp Juba 2015
Monday November 30 to Wednesday Dec 02, 2015
Free and open to the public.
Bringing together peacebuilders, tech innovators and open culture advocates from across South Sudan and beyond to hack, code, make and collaborate for peace! Visitors are invited to participate and collaborate during the event, in workshops taking place in the format of a “barcamp”.
#PeaceHackCamp programmes on mitigating social media hate speech and online incitement to violence form part of the #defyhatenow initiative by the r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation gGmbH, in collaboration with the Ebony Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) and the Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO.
What happens when Social Media becomes a channel of hate and intolerance?
Social Media is used as medium of choice of most hate groups today, however, the Internet. And its reach, Social Media allows members of hate groups from all over the world to engage in real-/me conversa/ons with each other
Encouraging intolerance, violence discrimina/on and suppression against groups they despise. Social media and the internet has been a windfall for the spread of these messages and recruitment of new members.
How can people take ac/on to stop hate speech using the medium for peace and innova/on?
1. Real /me monitoring of social media and this should include an ac/ve takedown of facebook pages and violent pos/ngs,
and also working with civil society organiza/ons to establish counter-narra/ves to combat and contest hate narra/ves that are being mediated online.
2. Cast a wide net to reach a diverse audience. Encourage respected community members, students, ar/sts, NGOs, nonprofits, and local business leaders to par/cipate in
The campaign group, following TwiMer feed, and join the social-networking page. They’ll bring a variety of talents and perspec/ves to the conversa/on, and their online presence will send a powerful message to the criminal elements in the community: ‘We are united against you’.
3. The findings of the research will be used to sensi/ze the community members on the nature and forms of hate speech that exist in South Sudan and will be used to develop a strategic response mechanism to hate speech by iden/fying provisions in South Sudan legal frameworks and draws comparison to Interna/onal Instruments towards understanding of hate speech.
4. Tracing where hate speech is present in South Sudan and explores any shorLalls and finally make recommenda/ons to development of hate speech laws in South Sudan.
5. There is need to establish a plaLorm for local communi/es against hate speech by airing peacebuilding programming on local radio outlets. In other words, if South Sudanese have frequent and extended access to media content that is carefully designed to increase their knowledge and change their adtudes regarding conflict, such programming could shie their behaviors at the local level.
extracts of the presenation by Lokuto Bismark CEPO
complete download as pdf