Nepal earthquake emergency: why digital humanitarian response matters and how you can help

HOTNepal Earthquake 2015. Overview of tasks and imagery coverage (screenshot taken on April 28, 5pm CEST). Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.

The government of Nepal has declared a state of emergency after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country on April 25, killing more than 3,800 people (figure at the time of writing).

Material and logistic assistance is now required to help thousands of people in need, and that’s when humanitarian response comes into play.
Humanitarian response can take different shapes and come from a range of organisations and actors, including governments, the United Nations system, international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement, specialists such as search-and-rescue operations – and digital humanitarians.

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Newsletter #9: List and Listen

Newsletter #9: sent!
(and archived if you missed it)

Work-wise: publishing a curated list of podcasts contributing to widen representation and democracy in the media space; following a hashtag frenzy about all things journalism, web, movement building and resistance; giving a final touch to articles about to be published.

Links-wise: gun violence, slow violence, the FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades, tools to avoid snoopers online, wireless routers spying on our breathing, Rihanna breathing it and out, and Cher.

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Podcasting for change: a curated list

latino-usa Maria Hinojosa interviewing Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for Latino USA. Picture by Christopher Soto-Chimelis.

Podcasting can be a powerful tool to reclaim representation of realities and issues and fight for justice and rights.
More about this can be read in my previous post entitled Easier, cheaper, louder: the growing power of podcasting, which explored what podcasting is today and why it matters in our effort to create a more democratic and inclusive media space.
The article featured some podcasts as tangible examples of the core topics the text was focusing on (media democratisation, representation and accessibility). But for brevity’s sake they were just a few – and there’s so much more on air.
For this reason, to answer all readers who asked for more podcast recommendations and to celebrate and share the work of many brilliant podcasters, I compiled a curated list of podcasts I listen to, love, recommend and often refer to.

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Newsletter #8: Living Wages

Newsletter #8: sent!
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Work-wise: getting ready for my first time in Detroit and at Allied Media Conference (my workshop proposal to AMC 2015 has been accepted!); being excited about the great feedback received for my post on the power of podcasting technology in support of rights and social justice and looking forward to more projects and conversations around it; reading and thinking about abuse of power, inadequate policies and violence.

Links-wise: broken taillight policing, the power of citizen witnesses, fast-food work, minimum wage, warpaint, fresh paint, Toni Morrison, Chelsea Manning’s Spotify playlist and New Orleans bounce.

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Newsletter #7: Out Loud

Newsletter #7: sent!
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Work-wise: talking about a post I just published about the growing power of podcasting; compiling a list of podcasts turning mainstream media dynamics upside down; wrapping up current projects and planning new ones before getting on a plane.

Links-wise: a lay person’s guide to baseline privacy,  seeing the world through Syrian eyes, trans women of color and visions for justice, Chelsea Manning tweeting #90sProblems, THEESatisfaction talking beats and the Empire.

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Easier, cheaper, louder: the growing power of podcasting

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 4.18.37 PM
Women of the Radio Listening Clubs in Seke Zimbabwe, by Calvin Dondo (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Having the freedom to talk about our experiences, opinions and struggles is extremely powerful. Our voices and stories are heard and shared. We can create alliances, communities and movements, support and strengthen each other, reclaim and protect our spaces and rights.

Knowing the media we can use to express ourselves independently, with no filters or need for permissions, is key to our freedom of expression, and technology provides tools which are becoming cheaper and easier to access everyday, such as blogs, videos and podcasts.

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Newsletter #6: Livestreaming Inequality

Newsletter #6: sent!
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Work-wise: writing an article on how data and technology can be used by marginalised communities to strengthen their advocacy work; happily seeing my post on the ethics of algorithms shared far and wide; researching and writing more articles – soon to be published!

Links-wise: livestreaming and citizen media, the cost of racial inequality, the cost of domestic violence, the price of shame, the future of privacy, sketching courtrooms, Salt-N-Pepa and Rihanna’s new single and serious brow game.

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Newsletter #5: Protesting Wrestling

Newsletter #5: sent!
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Work-wise: joining a conference on the ethics of algorithms, writing about the role of algorithms in relation to freedom of expression, human rights and society (and receiving terrific responses to the article!), collaborating to the creation of a template to design a financial transparency strategy – and more to come.

Links-wise: professional female wrestlers fighting for their rights, digital rights, sex workers’ rights, a guide to Internet’s protests, big names, bell hooks, armpits on the subway.

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The Ethics of Algorithms: notes, emerging questions and resources

Tweets relating to Ferguson after Michael Brown was shot. Map based on mentions of the city and other related key words. Via The Huffington Post.

Algorithms are ruling an ever-growing portion of our lives.
They are adopted by health insurances to assess our chances to get sick, by airlines to make our flights safer, by social media companies to attract our attention to ads, by governments to predict criminal activity.
They can guess with great accuracy a lot of things about us, such as gender, sexual orientation, race, personality type – and can also be applied to influence our political preferences, control what we do, target what we say and, in extreme cases, limit our freedom.

This is not to say that the computational algorithm model should have an evil reputation. Both algorithms and human judgement can be beneficial, malicious, biased – and even wrong. The main difference between them is that over the years (centuries) we developed a pretty good understanding of how human judgement works, while, when it comes to algorithms, we’re just starting to get to know each other.

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Newsletter #4: Floss And Labour

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Work-wise: joining a great line-up of speakers in a webinar on financial transparency, getting articles cross-posted far and wide, implementing policies in real life and working on a multitude of projects I can’t say more about just yet. So stay tuned!

Links-wise: how offense discourse traps us into inaction, a broken Congress, the radical political history of the photocopier, a new flossing technique and Queen Latifah.

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