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Global Media Forum

Can tweets recruit for terror? Understanding radicalization in the social media sphere

This year, Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum will be hosting a session at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day event in Helsinki to discuss radicalization in social media.

The Internet is not the cause of radicalization, but it can be a contributing factor. The different uses of online social and other media need to be differentiated in order to develop understanding and responses. At least four responses can be identified: One is for the State and/or Internet companies to block or remove content deemed to be culpable. Another is a largely social response, with civil society groups, religious entities and individuals engaging with counter-speech. A third response looks at news media, and the importance of conflict sensitive journalism for avoiding demonization and dehumanization. A fourth response is educational - to utilize media and information literacy programs and intercultural dialogue to empower users to resist attempts to shape their identities for violence.

Discussion points

What safeguards can help ensure that filtering and blocking does not blur into censorship of legitimate expression? How effective are technical limits online, and where they are, does this damage the interest of a State in monitoring which individuals visit radicalizing sites or seek out content?

What processes and criteria do Internet companies use to identify and moderate radicalizing content? How do news media online deal with user comments which foster radicalization, and how can conflict sensitive journalism be strengthened?

Patrick Leusch auf dem Global Media Forum 2014

Moderator: Patrick Leusch

Can the "power of the crowd" lead to censorship or chilling of speech in some cases? What examples exist of successful social mobilization against radicalization?

How can media and information literacy and intercultural dialogue become an integral dimension of educational programs? What curricula are needed to strengthen the ability of youth to recognize and resist radicalization, and empower them to be masters of their own identities?

#link:http://en.unesco.org/world-press-freedom-day-2016:Find out more# on May 3, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland, in parallel session 6 at Veranda 2.

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