Between Freedom and Fear - Digital Media as Tools of Expression and Repression

Politics & Society
Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 11:15 to 12:15
stage 6
Intermediate
English
Discussion

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Short thesis: 

What if Facebook is the only place homosexuals feel safe to meet, even though it is known that the government surveils the Internet? What if Twitter is the only place you can mock your government? In this session, cultural, political and technical limitations to free speech will be debated along with the question what contribution can good governance and media programmes supported by the German development cooperation have, when when Internet Freedom is at stake?

Description: 

What if Facebook is the only place homosexuals feel safe to meet, even though it is known that the government surveils the Internet? What if Twitter is the only place you can mock your government? In countries like Ethiopia, Jordan and the Ukraine social networks and other digital media are used to express personal and political views that have no space in other public fora and are not covered by the media. At the same time, these countries have weak or non-existing laws protecting their rights of citizens to exercise free speech, privacy and data protection laws. Here, individuals, in particular bloggers, activists and journalists use digital media are treading on thin ice.

Often limits to freedom of speech and self-censorship are caused not only by the political, legal and technical conditions, but also by cultural issues and pressure from society. Different views on the limits to free speech will be addressed in this session as well as the question how government surveillance and lack of privacy impacts on the use of digital media for personal and political expressions.

What contribution can good governance and media programmes supported by the German development cooperation have, when when Internet Freedom is at stake?

 

This session is part of the GLOBAL INNOVATION GATHERING programme.

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