“We learn geology the morning after the earthquake” – Ralph Waldo Emerson In the early 80s, and the start of what would be a nearly 30-year brutal war, I was kept awake at night by two things. Planes and ambulances. With fresh military offensives by the Sri Lankan Army incurring heavy casualties, Airforce planes airlifted … Continue reading Invisible incendiaries
First published on ICT4Peace Foundation website. Meaningful policymaking to fight the swelling seed, spread and supremacy of misinformation benefits from data and evidence alive to socio-political realities. A new report from Aotearoa New Zealand’s Classification Office does precisely this. ‘The Edge of the Infodemic’ presents a snapshot of the country’s media and information ecologies in … Continue reading Addressing the Infodemic
Was invited by Associate Professor SungYong Lee at NCPACS to deliver a guest lecture to his 2021 MA class on media's role in peacebuilding violent conflict generation. Speaking first around the nature of my doctoral research over three years at the Centre, I covered the specific geographic, socio-political focus of my research and at a … Continue reading Roles of media in peacebuilding & conflict generation
This article was originally published on the website of Institute for Human Rights and Business. ### The world’s biggest social media platform, Facebook, recently unveiled its human rights policy. It is a step in the right direction. But declaring a policy is one thing; implementing it is quite another. In a recent podcast with the Institute for Human Rights … Continue reading Making Facebook’s New Human Rights Policy Real
Image courtesy Guardian As part of the New Ec(h)o systems: Democracy in the age of social media, Paul Ash, the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Cyber and Digital and Cyber Coordinator at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet joined Special Advisor Sanjana Hattotuwa in a session titled 'The Christchurch massacre and social … Continue reading The Christchurch massacre and social media: Lessons learnt and unlearnt
What are "information disorders"? What impact do they have on conflict and other situations of violence? And how can humanitarians better understand them and mitigate their negative effects? Special Advisor of the ICT4Peace Foundation, Sanjana Hattotuwa, took part in a panel discussion on the impact of misinformation, disinformation and hate speech in the humanitarian sector. … Continue reading Video of session: Information disorder & conflict – The humanitarian dimension
Hosted by the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (NCPACS) at the University of Otago, I curated a conference looking at the intersection of social media and democracy on 16 and 17 March 2021. Supported by the first of its kind partnership with Twitter in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the conference was the culmination of doctoral … Continue reading New Ec(h)o systems: Democracy in the age of social media
Podcast with New Zealand's Classification Office on the role of social media platforms both in terms of promoting incendiary content and how some have gone on to protect and strengthen democracy. Listen to the podcast here (Episode 7).
Invited by Transparency International New Zealand, I gave a presentation titled 'Demons in our demos' for a Zoom gathering held on 29 July 2020, hosted by the University of Wellington as part of their leadership week. PDF of event description here. Are we collectively ruining democracy? Polarisation of thought and belief seems to be on … Continue reading Groupthink: Are we collectively ruining democracy?
This article first appeared on Techonomy. ### Facebook is a company that responds to pressure, and to lawsuits, but we in the Global South, at least as much affected by its harms as users in the United States, are at a significant disadvantage in wielding such tools on our own behalf. That has generally meant … Continue reading Facebook Reform Must Be Seen as a Global Matter