Gaza Instagram Stars Want World to Get the Picture

Gaza Instagram Stars Want World to Get the Picture

Yahoo News

Sheldon Himelfarb, CEO of US-based PeaceTech Lab which has researched how social media impacts political awareness, said social media can help break down barriers between people across the globe.

But he warned researchers were still trying to assess whether the selective nature of what is published helps or hinders efforts to gain a fuller picture.

"I believe in my conversations with university students. They seem to imply they are more aware about parts of the world than certainly their parents were. But whether or not they are more accurately informed I don't know."

Report Indicates Evolving Trends in Hate Speech on Social Media

Report Indicates Evolving Trends in Hate Speech on Social Media

Radio Miraya

A report by PeaceTech Lab, operating under the United States Institute for Peace, shows that words that were once used against a specific ethnicity in South Sudan are now being used to target different groups to match the changing context of the conflict. Theo Dolan, Director of PeaceTech Lab Africa, says abusive and dangerous language continues to be disseminated across various social media platforms.

Podcast: PeaceTech and Data Collection for Rule of Law

INPROL

In this podcast, INPROL Director Lelia Mooney and Senior Program Assistant Chelsea Dreher discuss data collection technologies with Derek Caelin, Senior Specialist for PeaceTech Lab. Derek works on the Lab’s PeaceTech Exchange program, an initiative to connect peacebuilders in conflict zones to media, technology, and data for them help them achieve their objectives. Working with local partners, Derek and the PeaceTech Exchange team have put on workshops in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to address issues such as Transparency & Accountability, Countering Violent Extremism and Gender Based Violence.

PeaceTech Lab Unites Bright Minds in Pursuit of Peace

PeaceTech Lab Unites Bright Minds in Pursuit of Peace

Mashable

As an independent nonprofit, the Lab brings together do-gooders that run the professional gamut: engineers, entrepreneurs, activists, conflict experts, social scientists, data scientists, and more. The concept is simple: Bring together bright, optimistic minds in order to find solutions that will bring peace and prosperity to communities around the globe.

C5 Accelerate Enters into Partnership with SAP NS2™

prweb

C5 Accelerate (C5A), the Cloud Innovation Centre for best-of-breed startups, has today announced that it has entered into a new Innovation Partnership with SAP National Security Services, Inc. (SAP NS2™) the independent, US subsidiary SAP, and leading provider of national security enterprise technology. This partnership will further strengthen the work being done by C5A’s Washington PeaceTech Accelerator to identify and nurture rising stars within the global peacetech market. The Peacetech Accelerator is operated in partnership with Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) and PeaceTech Lab, and is focused on attracting and monitoring companies seeking to tackle national security issues and address the root causes of conflict, particularly in crisis zones.

Report Reflects Emergence of New Terminologies to Spread Hate Speech in #SouthSudan

Radio Miraya

A report on the use of hate speech on social media and its impact on the conflict in South Sudan has been released, indicating the use of new terminologies to spread hatred.

The report by PeaceTech Lab, operating under the United States Institute for Peace, lists emerging terms such as ‘terrorist’ to make attacking comments against ethnic groups.

The bi-weekly reports track publicly available dangerous language found on various social media platforms in order to make connections between online hate speech and violent events.

Theo Dolan, the Director of PeaceTech Lab Africa, explains that the purpose of their reporting is to help mitigate the spread of hateful language in fueling violence on the ground.

Kenya's Election: Can Technology Stop Hate Speech?

Kenya's Election: Can Technology Stop Hate Speech?

Peace News Network

Kenya's past elections have been marred by violence, and with citizens heading to the polls on August 8, observers are concerned about the impact of hate speech. SMS text messages, in particular, have been blamed for partially fueling violence that led to 1,400 deaths following the 2007 election.

However, during this year's election, SMS messages are being used to try to diffuse tension, and social media is being used to monitor hate speech.

What is hate speech?

"The definition we use for hate speech is really the general definition, which is speech that attacks a person or group, on the basis of their race, their gender, their ethnic origin, their religion, or sexual orientation," said Giselle Lopez, from PeaceTech Lab, who has been researching the impact of hate speech and conflict in the region – including neighboring South Sudan.

"In the case of most of the work that we do there's another category of speech, called dangerous speech, which is speech that is very likely to lead to violence," Ms Lopez said.

The Second Cohort of the PeaceTech Accelerator Looks to Expand the Scope of 'Peacetech'

The Second Cohort of the PeaceTech Accelerator Looks to Expand the Scope of 'Peacetech'

Technical.ly

It's looking for startups that want to use technology to assist communities in crisis.

Five months ago, when Amazon Web ServicesC5 and the PeaceTech Labdebuted their inaugural cohort for the PeaceTech Accelerator, several misconceptions were stacked against the project.

Perception topped the list, according to Sheldon Himelfarb, PeaceTech Lab president and CEO.

“When people think about conflict, they’re picturing bombed-out buildings, bullets flying and chaos. But the fact is, in nearly every conflict zone we’ve worked, we see [technology],” Himelfarb said. “You don’t have to be defined by your immediate circumstances — there’s an outlet for expression, for cultivating and sharing new ideas, and for building something with purpose and value.”

Keeping the Peace Via Text

Keeping the Peace Via Text

US News & World Report

In Kenya, where elections can lead to violence, advocates pin their hopes on technology. 

MPEKETONI, Kenya —Two dozen women have arranged themselves in a circle under the shade of a cashew tree, some with infants in their arms and toddlers at their feet. The afternoon meeting in this small farming community near Mpeketoni is not out of the ordinary. What's new is the handful of young people from the city who have come to tell the villagers about a text messaging-based phone app designed to prevent massacres.

"Do you know the meaning of rumors?" asks Margaret Wainaina in Kiswahili, but the women have yet to warm up to questions. "It's when you don't know if something is true or not," she says, receiving steady head nods in response. "If you hear something, before you go tell your neighbor, check with us."

Wainaina is a project coordinator for Una Hakika, an initiative from the Canadian nonprofit The Sentinel Project, an anti-genocide effort. In the regional language Kiswahili, "Una hakika?" means "Are you sure?" and the goal is to squash disinformation that can lead to conflict, especially in the lead-up to Kenya's hotly contested general election on August 8.

'Unreasonable Goals Program' Hosts Entrepreneurs Focused on SDGs

'Unreasonable Goals Program' Hosts Entrepreneurs Focused on SDGs

International Institute for Sustainable Development

July 2017: The Unreasonable Group, the US Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships, and Johnson&Johnson hosted a two-week Unreasonable Goals program that brought together 16 entrepreneurial solutions, each of which aim to solve one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The winning solutions have connected over 7 million job seekers in India, saved almost 3 billion gallons of water and 450 acres of forest, and reused 2.5 million kilograms of plastic waste, among other achievements.

Unreasonable Goals is a public-private partnership dedicated to engaging highly profitable entrepreneurs with cutting edge technologies in contributing to achieving the SDGs. The 2017 event was the inaugural Unreasonable Goals accelerator program. The program is expected to run annually until 2030, collaborating with over 200 entrepreneurs and dozens of multinationals and national government. Lowe’s, Thomson Reuters, Bluescape, Amazon Web Services, and PeaceTech Lab also collaborated on the 2017 program.

Washington DC Based PeaceTech Accelerator is Encouraging Afrikan Startups to Apply for its 2nd Cohort

Washington DC Based PeaceTech Accelerator is Encouraging Afrikan Startups to Apply for its 2nd Cohort

iAfrikan

The Washington DC based PeaceTech Accelerator has opened applications for its 2nd cohort and it is encouraging Afrikan startups to also apply. The 2nd cohort is set to start with the Accelerator program in Washington DC from 8 September 2017.

The PeaceTech Accelerator is an international startup accelerator program focussed on cloud innovation and dedicated to helping startups scale. The program runs over eight-weeks and it includes mentorship as well as a training part which has particular emphasis on cloud technology to help startups and non-profit organizations scale rapidly and sustainably.

Boko Haram zet steeds vaker vrouwen in bij zelfmoordaanslagen

Boko Haram zet steeds vaker vrouwen in bij zelfmoordaanslagen

DeMorgen.

De terreurgroep Boko Haram zet steeds vaker vrouwen in om zelfmoordaanslagen te plegen in Noordoost-Nigeria. Twee jonge vrouwen bliezen zich maandag op in een moskee in Maiduguri, de stad waar Boko Haram ruwweg tien jaar geleden opkwam. Het gebouw stortte in en er vielen acht doden. Een week eerder vielen negentien doden toen een vrouw zich opblies in een drukke straat van Maiduguri.

Het aantal aanslagen is volgens Nigeria-expert David Ehrhardt van de Universiteit Leiden toegenomen, omdat Boko Haram in het nauw is gedreven. "Het plegen van sporadische aanslagen is dan een logische stap", zegt hij. Daarnaast hebben vrouwen een tactisch voordeel volgens Ehrhardt, omdat ze "makkelijker wapens kunnen transporteren onder hun kleren".

Channels Academy Partners With Peace Agency To Tackle Hate Speech

Channels Academy Partners With Peace Agency To Tackle Hate Speech

Channels Television

A growing source of concern that divides people and societies is the use of hate speech through the social and mainstream media.

It is a trend Channels Academy hopes to check in the coming days, working in partnership with the Peace Media and Peace Tech Lab.

The Director of the Peace Media and Peace Tech Lab, Theo Dolan, who was at the launch of the Channels Academy in Abuja, said his organisation would support the academy’s curriculum.

“With the launch of the Channels (journalism) Academy, we can integrate hate speech training into the academy’s curriculum and that is what we are hoping to do. We’ll be in discussions about that and I think this is something that professional media can learn more about as well,” he said.

PeaceTech Accelerator looking for more startups for its next cohorts

PeaceTech Accelerator looking for more startups for its next cohorts

Ventureburn

PeaceTech Accelerator, a Washington DC based cloud innovation centre and scale-up programme devoted to peace technology, is looking for more participants for its next cohort starting on 8 September with the third planned for January next year.

PeaceTech Accelerator was launched earlier this year by tech investment firm C5 Accelerate and PeaceTech Lab , a peace building non-profit, in collaboration with cloud computing service provider, Amazon Web Services, and has since graduated its first cohort.

It runs eight week programmes for companies and non-profit organisations involved in the development of innovative technologies that promote peace and build stronger, safer societies.

Why Europe has a greater terror problem than the United States

Why Europe has a greater terror problem than the United States

USA Today

Recent terror attacks in the United States are far less common than in Europe, and Americans can thank geography and assimilation for that.

There were 100 attacks that killed 97 people in the U.S. in 2015-2016, compared to 604 attacks that claimed 383 victims in Western Europe during the same time period, according to the University of Maryland's Global Terrorism Database.

"There are oceans separating North America from the main conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa," where recent terrorists have been radicalized, said Phil Gurski, a former Canadian intelligence analyst who runs a threat and risk consulting firm. "It is far easier for extremists to get to Italy from Libya than it is for them to go from Libya to Canada or the U.S." 

Why Businesses Hold the Key to Stemming the Tide of Radicalization

Why Businesses Hold the Key to Stemming the Tide of Radicalization

Observer

The world is gripped in fear, and day after day, we are reminded why. This ongoing project between Esri and PeaceTech Lab reveals that more than 400 reported terrorist attacks have occurred across the globe in 2017, with the estimated death count nearing 3,000.

Our fears are valid, and our desire to stem the tide of new terrorist recruits is necessary. However, our best shot at accomplishing this goal may not be found in our military’s ranks; it’s likely located within the private sector.

In South Sudan, Fake News Has Deadly Consequences

In South Sudan, Fake News Has Deadly Consequences

Slate

Misinformation can fuel bloodshed

Last month, fear spread that South Sudan’s government would collapse. The president had just removed the country’s powerful army chief of staff, Paul Malong, a hard-liner widely cast as the architect of some of the East African nation’s worst bouts of violence. The shake-up risked dividing the military in a country already mired in a chaotic three-year civil war largely divided along tribal lines. The conflict has produced ethnic cleansingfamine, and the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world. After Malong’s removal, the army was put on high alert.

Then the fake news came.

On Facebook, pages known for spouting ethnic propaganda began posting updates with wild news reports. One particularly egregious offender, the pro-Malong “Aweil Eye” page, claimed that a militia loyal to the recently sacked army chief was withdrawing from all over South Sudan and assembling in the city of Aweil. It implied they were getting ready to fight the government. Another post linked to an article claiming South Sudanese President Salva Kiir had been shot dead. Both were completely false. Yet the posts, and ones like it, helped fuel online panic about a possible military coup.