At the Global Media Forum from June 22 - 24 Kyle Matthews, DMAP LAB in Montreal, will present new social media strategies that the international community can adopt in the fight against the 'Islamic State' (IS).
Matthews, Senior Deputy Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, is convinced that the anti-IS coalition needs new cyberspace strategies to combat IS gains. Yet, according to Matthews, the relevant actors in this coalition unfortunately do not understand how social media works.
His team of experts researches innovative methods to challenge the "narrative that kind of makes the IS fighter look like the Che Guevara of 2015." Matthews worries that "Jihadists are always one step ahead of governments in cyberspace." The extremists are very adept in using social web applications to their advantage. For Matthews and his team, it is high time to take the fight against jihadists to their own online turf.
Against radicalized discourse
At the Global Media Forum his team will host the workshop "Social media vs. digital jihad." Participants will be able to share their experience with online radicalization and look for innovative solutions. A central question in the panel will be: "What can Western governments, civil society groups and engaged individuals do – not only to identify would-be jihadists and 'lone-wolves' – but also to counter radicalized discourse and hate speech?"
For Kyle Matthews a first step could be the development of "a strong counter-narrative, built of Muslim voices." Support in the struggle against digital jihad could also come from other sources, such as the creative potential of film producers.
Media and foreign policy in the digital age
The Global Media Forum will provide a "welcoming platform" for Matthews to discuss his theses with experts from politics, culture, business, development cooperation and academia and to develop synergies and share them with the international public. This year's theme in the World Conference Center in Bonn is "Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age."
International partners and co-hosts
DW's partners for the approximately 40 workshops and events being held at the 2015 Global Media Forum include, among others, Amnesty International, Grimme-Institut, the United Nations, the OSCE, Reporters Without Borders Germany and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The conference is co-hosted by the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn. Support is also kindly provided by Germany's Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the City of Bonn and the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
June 15, 2015