Censoring dissent. How the mourning over activist Liu Xiaobo’s death is being erased from the internet

Liu Xiao Bo – Ai Weiwei

On July 13 2017, activist, writer and Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo passed away in government custody.

He advocated for non-violent action, participated in the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, and helped to draft and gather support for Charter 08, a call for peaceful political reform and an end to one-party rule. He spent almost a quarter of his life behind bars in China for advocating human rights and democracy.

Once the news of his death became public, one related phenomenon started to be reported. References to Liu Xiaobo, his work, and his passing were being censored on social media in China more harshly than ever before. Continue reading Censoring dissent. How the mourning over activist Liu Xiaobo’s death is being erased from the internet

Digital civil disobedience: tactics, tools and future threads

Protests, uprising and unrest are key elements of freedom of expression, contributing to the shape of society and public debate through history.
Over the centuries, individuals and groups have adopted countless tactics to reclaim rights and fight for justice – changing over time, transforming strategically according to different historical and political contexts.

What’s the current state of the art? Which are the tools adopted by protesters to raise awareness, unrest and mobilise?
Technology has entered the the world of activism, and we can recognise forms of protests which combine offline and online elements, as well as expressions of dissent which exclusively operate in the digital space.
This article aims to provide an overview of how digital civil disobedience looks like today, observe which tactics are in use and consider a possible path to develop the future tools which will help global citizens reclaim their rights.


Continue reading Digital civil disobedience: tactics, tools and future threads

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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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.

Continue reading The Ethics of Algorithms: notes, emerging questions and resources