Fake News as a Matter of Life and Death

One day, no one knew him. The next, everyone did. That is what happened in Myanmar (colloquially known as Burma) when all of a sudden people were talking about Donald Trump due to the internet. The World Bank estimates, that less than 1% of the Burmese population had internet access until 2014. Today, approximately 20% of Myanmar is online. What happens when everybody is new to the internet and joining Facebook at once?

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Grab ’em by the history!

Before I started writing this article, I finished reading the work of Marxist feminist and theorist Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (2004). Inspired by Shakespeare´s The Tempest, it is a history of the body in the transition from feudalism to capitalism. Federici shows how the battle against the rebel body and the conflict between body and mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern social organization.

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Cambodian Civil Society Strikes Back: Video Advocacy

My last post looked at how Cambodia’s authoritarian regime has sought to silence dissenting voices. This one looks at what one group of activists have done to make their voices heard despite the political crackdown.

When Cambodian authorities began closing down the public space with threats, surveillance, and harassment, harassment last year they also muzzled many digitally connected activists.

But some of the scrappiest activist groups became even more active. One of them stands out for their use of new media and particularly video advocacy.

នៅក្នុងវីដេអូមួយនេះយេីងនឹងលាតត្រដាងថា ខ្សាច់ដែលនាំចេញទៅប្រទេសតៃវាន់បានបាត់ស្ទេីរតែទាំងស្រុងហេីយក៏មិនខុសពីករណីដែលបាត់ខ្សាច់ជាង៧០០លានដុល្លាកាលពីមុនផងដែរ។ តេីមន្រ្តីពុករលួយដែលពាក់ព័ន្ធរឿងនេះគួរតែចាត់ទុកថាជាជនក្បត់ជាតិដែរឬទេ? សូមបងប្អូនជួយពិចារណា។In this latest video, we are exposing the fact that most of the sand exports to Taiwan have gone ‘missing’ from government records. This is not unlike the issue of 700 million dollars’ worth of sand that also went ‘missing’ a few months back. Can those corrupt officials involved in this scam be considered traitors? Watch and decide by yourself.

Publicerat av Mother Nature Cambodia Måndag 11 september 2017


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Social Media and Human Rights – a Contradiction in Itself?

The American online social media company Facebook has been a blessing for human rights – most apparently for freedom of speech. Social media can increase the effectiveness of public assemblies, demonstrations or non-mainstream political movements. However, there exist also dark sides to social media.

Facebook, with more than 2.2 billion active users, has had a bad few weeks – or even years. Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, the co-founder, and leader of Facebook had to apologize for failing to protect the personal data of millions of users. On the strength of this, millions of users deleted their accounts in disgust.

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Curbing New Media Activism in Closing Civil Society Space

Social media use has transformed the way activists work and can be considered an integral part of the networked public sphere (Castells 2012; Tufekci 2017). New media and ICTs are central to the way activists raise awareness, challenge governments and mobilise supporters, although the actual impact of digital media may be overstated (Guo & Saxton 2013; Denskus & Esser 2013). Governments have also incorporated new media and ICTs into their strategies and often have far greater resources, the ability to dominate commonly used platforms, and access to internet and telecoms infrastructure.

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