Social Media and Conflict in Libya.

A Battle on the Streets and Screens

Weak political structures. Deepening ethnic and regional divisions. An ongoing struggle for power. In the eight years since the Arab Spring triggered a civil war that toppled Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, competing government factions and a breakdown in border security have mired Libya in violence and insecurity. In the midst of this, a space for online hate has manifested, creating a battleground not just on the streets but also on the screens of Libyans across the country, where 3.5 million users or about 90% of the country’s total internet users have a Facebook account.

Ending the Fight

PeaceTech Lab partnered with Development Transformations and Elbiro Foundation to produce Libya: A Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms, a tool that activists, civil society members, and tech and social media companies can use to identify specific hate speech terms in an effort to stop the persistent problem of hate speech. It also alerts individual social media users to specific words or phrases that have the potential to inflame violence and perpetuate Libya’s conflict cycle.