Category: Diaspora

PeaceTech Lab: Social Media & Conflict in South Sudan

PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms & Countering Hate Speech

Since the outbreak of violence in December 2013, South Sudanese have called attention to how hate speech has inflamed further violent conflict. But what’s the connection between online hate narratives and violence on the ground in South Sudan? How do we begin to understand those connections?

To address these questions, PeaceTech Lab has developed a Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms, combining cutting-edge social media analysis with in-country expertise to identify both the terms likely to incite violence, and their social and political context. The Lexicon also identifies alternative language that would mitigate the impact of this speech via an online portal for countering hate speech.

PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms Report

PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms Report

“Countries with rapidly expanding Internet access, such as South Sudan, are also experiencing the spread of online rumors, misinformation, and targeted attacks to exploit political or ethnic differences,” says Theo Dolan, Director of PeaceTech Lab Africa.

Dolan says that raising awareness among social media users around the world is urgently needed to shed  light on the dangers of hate speech, particularly related to South Sudan. Online hate speech can spread through personal and family networks, and it spreads fast – information can flow very quickly from a diaspora community in Australia to the US and back to South Sudan.

PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms chart

PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms chart

The goal of the lexicon is to inform organizations and individuals combating hate speech and building peace in South Sudan, as well as to raise awareness among social media users on the dangers of specific inflammatory language.

The research is incredibly important because South Sudan has been in conflict for so long. People are already traumatized and online hate speech can reinforce this trauma. With more contexts around why these terms are inflammatory, people will have a better idea of how to combat the problem” says PeaceTech Lab Director Theo Dolan.

 

PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms chart

PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms chart

Access a summary of the project, live visualizations from the social media analysis of hate speech, news articles, and resources for organizations countering hate speech through the South Sudan Hate Speech Data Portal, located in the PeaceTech Lab’s Open Situation Room Exchange (OSRx).

PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms chart

PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms chart

Social Media and Conflict in South Sudan: A Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms Download Report
Open Situation Room Exchange (OSRx) South Sudan Hate Speech Portal
RADIO MIRAYA INTERVIEW with Theo Dolan on PeaceTech Lab research & lexicon
juba-peacejam-messaging

#peacejam LIVE in Juba, Nairobi, Uganda, Canada & online 21st Sept

r0g_agency & #defyhatenow are 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 wherever you are online.

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#defyhatenow #peacejam street theatre in Juba, South Sudan Photo: Hakim George

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.

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Photo: Hakim George

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.

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Traditional dancers & youth group, street theatre in Juba Sept 21st. Photo: Hakim George

#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.

14449782_1753983521523210_6779020375209035324_n #peacejam at Rhino Camp, Uganda #peacevillage Photo: Jaiksana

#peacejam at Rhino Camp, Uganda #peacevillage Photo: Jaiksana

#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.

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#peacejam #SautiKubwa Kibera, Nairobi Photo: Calvince

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.

For example, this fantastic work by #AnaTaban initiative & community of artists and activists working for peace in South Sudan.

Photo: Charles Lomodong #AnaTaban, The Guardian

Photo: Charles Lomodong
#AnaTaban, The Guardian

#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).

#peacejam toolkit

#peacejam toolkit

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#defyhatenow #peacejam in Kibera, Nairobi

#peacejam toolkit now online!

How to join the #southsudan social media #peacejam – toolkit now online!

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share your peace messages on social media:
#peacejam #peaceday #defyhatenow #southsudan

Social Media #PeaceJam World #PeaceDay Sept 21 2016

Be part of #defyhatenow social media #peacejam on world #peaceday!

#defyhatenow #peacejam #peaceday #southsudan

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Link to #peacejam facebook event page & join #defyhatenow fb group

Add your #peacejam to the official International Day of Peace Event Map

UN International Day of Peace – September 21st 2016

Share your peace messages on social media: #defyhatenow #peacejam #peaceday

What is peace for you?

When did you last feel truly, deeply peaceful?

What are the symbols of peace in your culture / community / family?

Think about your experiences and make your own peace messages – be creative!

Write them with colourful markers, or any materials you can find (sand, pebbles). Paint or draw them. If there is a pithy and concise phrase that resonates with peace, turn it into a hashtag and start using it. Film short video messages, with your statement of peace on camera. Now you are ready to start the social media part of the #peacejam to #defyhatenow on #peaceday!

Photograph (or scan) your #peacejam messages and send them out into the world. Take photos of each other’s peace messages (if you are comfortable being online). If you made video messages, share them with #defyhatenow #peacejam on facebook!

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Peace starts within me – Iyiel Daud

South Sudan is You and I. The country is ours.

Attack problems not people

In peace we all win.

Inner peace translates to global peace

Use hashtags #peacejam #defyhatenow #peaceday along with any new ones you have invented. Send your peace messages out on facebook, to any groups you are part of, via twitter, instagram.

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The #defyhatenow initiative is focused particularly on South Sudan, although we are very interested in connecting with the South Sudanese diaspora around the world, everyone who is working for peace is welcome to join!

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.

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Portrait by South Sudanese artist Abul Oyay

#AnaTaban is a community of young South Sudanese creatives who are tired of seeing our people suffer.

#AnaTaban provides a platform for ordinary people to make their voices heard and to draw attention to the suffering of the masses. #AnaTaban harnesses the arts to promote dialogue in the communities through music, street theatre, sculpture, poetry and just about any form of expression that could strike a chord with the public at large, and the youth in particular.

This song is dedicated to all those we have lost in this senseless war and to all those who are still here and are tired enough to make the changes we need:

Thank you for your positive energy and contribution to making the world a more peaceful place. Here are some additional resources to keep spreading peace and justice through activist strategies:

Join with people around the world– get involved in the International Day of Peace!

Beautiful Rising harnesses the insights of changemakers worldwide who are waging non-violence in cultural activism to help make our movements more strategic, creative and effective. Inspired by the concept of a “pattern language,” Beautiful Rising teases out the key elements of creative activism.

Jal Tekädä, The Journey of My Life, is a short film produced and performed by internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the UN protection of civilians (PoC) site in Bentiu, South Sudan, a town that witnessed some of the most brutal fighting of the conflict. The film tells the story of young IDPs’ journey to seek forgiveness and healing from the vicious civil war that erupted in December 2013.

Keep spreading peace, every day of the year!!!

Don’t let anyone with a political agenda derail your efforts or divide you from peaceful intentions.

Talk about what you can do next. Be actively engaged in peace on a daily basis in your own life. Keep building peace within you and inside your heart and seek professional help to overcome trauma.

Remember that every day you have the chance to choose peace, promote understanding, compassion and reconciliation through your own communication, experiences and interactions.

International Day of Peace – Poster

#defyhatenow: Mobilising Civic Action Against Hate Speech and Directed Social Media Incitement to Violence in South Sudan.

We work together for a peaceful world offline & online and peace in South Sudan.

#defyhatenow is an initiative to combat social media hate speech by r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, Berlin, and the Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO), Juba.

#defyhatenow is funded by the ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (zivik) with means of the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).

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I am Southern Sudanese – Mer

Using my Guitar to speak hope | Mer Anyang | TEDxNakaseroWomen

May 2015, Kampala Uganda

“What is your responsibility? Some of us are Doctors, Journalists, Engineers, you name it. This war is not just in a neighbouring country, this war is really all over Africa. We are fighting tribalism, we are fighting gender based violence, we are fighting corruption […] You really have to do something, because time does not stop. Somewhere along the line, our voices has to be heard. Who we are in this world, has to be seen and has to matter […] Music is a language that taps into religion, into faith, into togetherness, into unity.”

Read More

#defyhatenow Roundtable & Strategic Forum

Peace / Diaspora Roundtable & Strategic Forum on Mobilising Civic Action Against Hate Speech and Directed Social Media Incitement to Violence in South Sudan.

Date: Saturday 23rd JULY 2016
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Venue: Sentrim 680 (Sixeighty) Hotel Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi
Program: 4 sessions; breakaway workshop & focused strategic discussion.

Agenda: The main aim is to engage the South Sudanese community to develop a concrete action plan on countering the online incitement to violence.

#defyhatenow #SouthSudan #Peace4SouthSudan

INTRODUCTION

For the past few weeks leading to the current conflict happening in South Sudan, the South Sudanese online & diaspora community have been engaged in serious hate messaging.
These hate “battles” seem to have started right after the conflict in KajoKeji, Raja and Wau. When violence erupted, South Sudanese online began confronting each other along tribal lines through hate videos, hate comments and so forth. This intensified when fighting started in Juba on 7th to 11th July 2016.
It is important to note that a particular social media posting by the First Vice President’s spokesperson was cited as allegedly being the catalyst for the violence in July 2016.
This one day roundtable is aimed at bringing various actors in the Diaspora together with local peace activists to develop a strategy to combat current online activities, and mitigate the threat of further violence.

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Atong Atem – Third Culture Kids

Atong Atem is a South Sudanese photographer based in Melbourne, Australia, who takes photos exploring the cultural identities of first and second-generation African migrants in Australia.

In a recent photo series she focuses on the social and cultural identities constructed by first and second generation Africans living in the diaspora. VICE spoke to her about living between two cultures, and untangling her home’s complex colonial histories. Her images focus on Third Culture Kids, who are often growing up in a perpetual identity crisis.

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Deng Adut – Refugee Lawyer

In 1985, the Sudanese government began destroying villages eventually leading to the rise of the People’s Liberation Army. Two years later, six-year old Deng Thiak Adut was taken away from his family’s banana farm in South Sudan and conscripted into the Army. After undergoing military training, several years of army service and witnessing numerous atrocities, Deng was still a boy when he was shot in the back while running through a village.

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