Facebook’s Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) on Sri Lanka: Some brief thoughts

First reading Facebook released the company's Human Rights Impact Assessment for Sri Lanka today. At the time of writing, Joshua Brustein writing for Bloomberg has one of the first takes on the report, highlighting Facebook's apology for its role in Sri Lanka's violence. Commissioned by Facebook, the report was conducted and written by Article One. … Continue reading Facebook’s Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) on Sri Lanka: Some brief thoughts

Why not a Kindle?

The green beans were wrapped in Time. The magazine, not the passage. The lentils usually in a Newsweek. Any purchase of over a kilo of manioc was rewarded by indeterminable foreign newsprint on international affairs as its wrapping. Perhaps my love and insatiable consumption of manioc was linked to the possibility of a reward by … Continue reading Why not a Kindle?

Fighting misinformation

‘Upon a Sleepless Isle’, the astonishingly good new book by Andrew Fidel Fernando has a vital lesson for new and generally excitable students of misinformation in Sri Lanka. Countering the spread of rumour, from the risible to the inflammable, is all the rage. The focus and framing are largely on Facebook as well as WhatsApp, … Continue reading Fighting misinformation

The future of technology in peacebuilding: Presentation at MIT Media Lab

In early April this year, I was invited to deliver a keynote address at the inaugural Build Peace conference, held at MIT Media Lab. My presentation was given, almost to the day, twenty years after the Rwandan genocide. Just before I went on stage, we all observed a minute's silence to remember the victims. The … Continue reading The future of technology in peacebuilding: Presentation at MIT Media Lab

An ethical and rights based framework for non-lethal use of UAVs and drones

Cross-posted from the ICT4Peace Foundation's blog. ### I March this year, Patrick Meier wrote to me and to Daniel Stauffacher, the head of the ICT4Peace Foundation, to give input into what at the time was a draft note around creating a global network of civilian UAV pilots to support humanitarian efforts. The draft concept note … Continue reading An ethical and rights based framework for non-lethal use of UAVs and drones

FlipBoard magazines on ICT4Peace, Crisis Mapping, Big Data, Drones and more

I've been for a while a daily consumer of content through FlipBoard. I first downloaded it on to my iPad Mini around 3 years ago and have since found it an indispensable app to keep up with the information and news I want to follow. It helps that it's also one of the best looking … Continue reading FlipBoard magazines on ICT4Peace, Crisis Mapping, Big Data, Drones and more

Big Data: It should be about people and how it impacts their lives

On the invitation of SciDev.net, I wrote earlier this year an article looking at Big Data from the perspective of someone who lives in a country post-war, but reeling from systemic conflict, human rights abuse and under an illiberal, authoritarian regime. The article was published in April on SciDev.net's site, as part of an excellent … Continue reading Big Data: It should be about people and how it impacts their lives

Silence over months: What I’ve been up to in Sri Lanka and internationally

It's been a while since I updated this blog - nearly a year in fact. My previous post, in early July 2013 was around a presentation I made on digital archives at an exhibition in Colombo. Coincidentally, I am now preparing for another public talk on digital archives (Capturing the Ephemeral: Archiving our digital present), … Continue reading Silence over months: What I’ve been up to in Sri Lanka and internationally

Granularity of many vs. the vantage of the few: Photography and activism today

I made this presentation at the American Centre in Colombo yesterday, at the invitation of Nooranie Muthaliph, Project Lead of the interesting Rotaract Shutterbug competition organised by the Rotaract Club of Panadura. I was asked to Create awareness of these powerful mediums used by different communities and people in bring about change and, Generate interest of people in Colombo/ … Continue reading Granularity of many vs. the vantage of the few: Photography and activism today