Category: News

Countering Social Media as a Weapon in South Sudan

Hate Speech in South Sudan: Social Media as a Weapon of War

PeaceTech Lab, 03 May 2017

In 2016 PeaceTech Lab conducted research to better understand the connection between online hate speech and violence on the ground in South Sudan. The Lab created a lexicon of hate speech terms and monitored social media in support of local initiatives combating hate speech.

What’s the connection between online hate narratives and violence on the ground in South Sudan? How do we begin to understand those connections?

PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms combines 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.

The goal of this research 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.

Hate Speech Lexicon in South Sudan

‘El Pais’ article by Gloria Pallares, 11 April 2017
Translated by Johanna Schnitzler

Social Media fuels war in a country on the brink of genocide. The Hate Speech Lexicon is the first to identify the terms used to incite violence.


There are words that kill. In the case of South Sudan, social media has emerged as a new source of ethno-political conflict. According to the United Nations and international experts, South Sudan is at the brink of genocide and has been plagued with famine throughout the region this year. Ethnic conflict has erupted since December 2013 amongst parties that are aligned with President Salva Kiir of the Dinka tribe, against those aligned with Former Vice President Riek Machar, of the Nuer tribe. Although South Sudan is among the world’s least developed countries and about 70% of its population is illiterate, hate speech and fake news disseminates through the internet and spreads violence to regions that don’t even have electricity. Local and international organizations have responded to the gravity of situation through their work. One result of this collective effort is the Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms which is the first of its kind to identify the vocabulary used to incite violence of social media.

#defyhatenow #anataban #peace4all #SouthSudan #PeaceTechLab

re:publica & GIG, Berlin

Dear Friends,

We’d love to welcome you to our second annual r0g_agency ‘Meet ‘n Greet’ at our new location in Charlottenburg! We’ll take the opportunity to introduce three of our project colleagues from South Sudan, our guests at a series of events including the 11th edition of re:publica, Global Innovation Gathering (GIG), and the 1st Berlin Offline Camp…

Achol Jok Mach
#defyhatenow project manager and cultural podcaster

Jaiksana Amarüda José
cultural activist, songwriter and open tech community trainer

Hakim George Hakim
freelance photo-journalist, film maker and social media activist

Thursday May 4th, 2017
18.00 – 22.00

r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation gGmbH
Knobelsdorffstrasse 22
14059 Berlin-Charlottenburg

The evening will feature a special sneak preview screening of ZAWAJA GALI (‘Marriage is Expensive’) the new film by Sam Lukudu and Cont de Monk, starring Joyce Maker, shot and produced entirely on location in Juba, South Sudan!

re:publica 2017

Monday May 8, @ 19.45 – 20.45 (Stage 2)

Since gaining independence in 2011 the Republic of South Sudan has become embroiled in a protracted civil conflict claiming thousands of lives and displacing over a million people. When violent clashes between government and opposition forces erupted in the capital Juba on the eve of its fifth anniversary in July 2016 the role played by social media in stoking violence, fear and ethnic hatred came to the fore. Initiatives such as #defyhatenow, working with local communities to identify and mitigate social media hate speech, along with the surveying and monitoring of ethnic hate terminology by the Peace Tech Lab seek to create mechanisms to curb conflict rhetoric as urgent peace-building measures.

Wednesday May 10, @ 10.30 – 11.00 (Stage 2)

Clemantine Wamarya and Achol Jok Mach are honoring this year´s theme “Loving out Loud” by defining what love might be in respect for oneself, for community, for country and for the world; discussing the importance of being aware of what is in our way of loving outloud as opposed to hating in silence, rooted in their personal lived experience.

Global Innovation Gathering (GIG) 2017

GIG Makerspace & Program @ re:publica

The Global Innovation Gathering (GIG), a sub-conference developed by re:publica, brings together innovation hub managers, makers, hackers and entrepreneurs from across the world. In the last four years GIG has become a central part of the conference programme, showcasing tech innovation and maker projects from Asia, Africa and Latin America. At re:publica 2017 GIG will come together for its fifth annual gathering; its members will take over the #rp17 stages on numerous occasions during the three re:publica days and GIG will host a pop-up Makerspace together with the FabLab Berlin.

2017 GIG is taking place in collaboration with the StartHubs Asia Berlin project, initiated by the City of Berlin, and GIZ. Over 20 different nationalities will be hosting talks and workshops ranging from using the open-source software Ushahidi for reporting extra judicial killings in the Philippines, to open citizen data projects in Indonesia, Columbia and Brazil, and self-made ISPs in the Amazon jungle. The programme also covers current and global political developments and discusses various issues such as the prevailing debate on online hate speech and how to mitigate it, in particular in conflict regions such as South Sudan.


Online hate speech and incitement is on the rise in South Sudan

Published on Jan 1, 2017 on Al Jazeera English

Online hate speech and incitement is on the rise in South Sudan – running parallel with an increase in tension from the country’s civil war. Social media users are increasingly facing threats after posting online. It’s part of a bigger problem with the United Nations warning it could lead to mass atrocities.
Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan reports from Juba

خطاب الكراهية والتحريض على الانترنت آخذ في الارتفاع في جنوب السودان بالتوازي مع زيادة التوتر بسبب الحرب الأهلية في البلاد ، ويواجه مستخدمي وسائل التواصل الاجتماعى على نحو متزايد تهديدات بعد النشر على الانترنت، انها جزء من مشكلة أكبر والتى تحذر الأمم المتحدة  من أنها قد تؤدي إلى الفظائع الجماعية

تقرير هبة مورغان، الجزيرة من جوبا




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