Social Media for Social Change Tbilisi Presentation

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Presentation for the Social Media for Social Change Conference by Onnik Krikorian and Arzu Geybullayeva, 9-10 April 2010

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  • Mk, it's 14% without NK included, 16% with it included.
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  • Onnik, I wouldn't say that Armenian forces occupied 14-16% of Azerbaijan. This question is still open.
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  • Oh, and it's also about new/social media circumventing a propagandist local media which reinforces negative stereotypes to bring the two sides together. :)
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  • Incidentally, the point about phones (and Internet) during Russia-Georgia war is very valid, but this presentation is not about war. It's about using social/new media for conflict transformation in order to avoid one.

    Even then, you'll notice, the presentation supports a holistic approach to conflict transformation using traditional and new means. Until the phones go down, however, it is likely that the fastest growth in Internet use in the region (and worldwide probably) will be mobile.
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  • Varske, slides for presentations as some kind of all-in-one information resource aren't really interesting for me. They are simply bullet points for speakers (ie myself and Arzu) to go into more details during the actual presentation. All that other information is in my head.

    Otherwise, I suspect there wouldn't be much point in having presenters there in the first place. Indeed, I tend to prefer speaking without slides, but have since gotten into the habit of realizing that audiences like having bullet points in front of them.

    Moreover, I tend to dislike presentations as some kind of here it is and that's it approach. What matters is the panel discussion afterwards, and especially if it's free-form on top of a basic introduction with all that information filled in by the speaker.

    Like I said, if it's all there, why bother with a presenter?
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Social Media for Social Change Tbilisi Presentation

  1. 1. Onnik Krikorian Caucasus Regional Editor, Global Voices Online http://www.globalvoicesonline.org [email_address] [email_address] Arzu Geybullayeva Regional Analyst http://www.flyingcarpetsandbrokenpipelines.com [email_address]
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Armenia February 2008 presidential election left 10 dead Media censored during a 20-day state of emergency
  3. 3. Azerbaijan Foreign radio stations taken off the air in January 2009 Arrest and imprisonment of two video blogging youth activists
  4. 4. Georgia August 2008 war with Russia Internet fastest and cheapest in region </li></ul>
  5. 5. Nagorno Karabakh <ul><li>1994 ceasefire
  6. 6. Approx 25,000 dead
  7. 7. Approx 1 million refugees and IDPs
  8. 8. 14-16 percent of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenian forces (Baku says 20 percent)
  9. 9. Border skirmishes and clashes
  10. 10. Territorial integrity vs. Right to self-determination
  11. 11. Peace deal still elusive
  12. 12. Threat of new war </li></ul>
  13. 13. Media & Civil Society <ul><li>Media on both sides practices self-censorship
  14. 14. Civil society on both sides largely ineffective and/or closed
  15. 15. Notion that Armenians and Azerbaijanis are 'ethnically incompatible' put into widespread circulation
  16. 16. Media on both sides perpetuates negative stereotypes of the 'enemy'
  17. 17. Communication with the 'enemy' discouraged on both sides
  18. 18. Opposition as well as government in Armenia and government in Azerbaijan exploit Nagorno Karabakh conflict for short-term domestic political gain </li></ul>
  19. 19. Stereotyping the 'enemy' [A] negative context [is set] in the public consciousness, which hinders dialogue and mutual understanding […] Without more accurate and unbiased information […] free of negative rhetoric and stereotypes, Armenians and Azerbaijanis will continue to see themselves as enemies without any common ground. Report on media in Armenia and Azerbaijan , Caucasus Resource Research Center
  20. 20. Another View Nowhere in the world can you find two groups of people closer to each other. That is why we often have these stupid disputes between Armenians and Azeris. &quot;This house is Armenian&quot; or &quot;this house is Azeri.&quot; Or &quot;this music is Armenian or Azeri.&quot; This is exactly because the two have so much in common. [...] I normally say, and people don't like this, that Armenians are just Christian Azeris and Azeris are just Muslim Armenians . That is how much they are alike. Azerbaijani journalist , Re-arming the Caucasus, Al Jazeera English
  21. 21. Digital media and conflict Throughout history, war has affected media, with conflict often creating an information void. In the 21st century, media has begun to affect war more than ever before. Digital media technologies [...] have increased communication and information dissemination in conflict settings [...]. These new tools can be used to foment violence or to foster peace , and it is possible to build communication systems that encourage dialogue and nonviolent political solutions. Ivan Sigal, Global Voices Online Executive Director, Digital media in conflict-prone societies, Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA)
  22. 22. Crossing the ceasefire line <ul><li>Facebook , Internet chat, email
  23. 23. Blogs such as Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines
  24. 24. Global Voices Online
  25. 25. Skype for secure communication
  26. 26. Skype for interviews
  27. 27. Video blogging </li></ul>
  28. 28. Catalyst for change <ul><li>Increased use of Facebook , Twitter , and blogs
  29. 29. Coverage and translation on Global Voices Online
  30. 30. Discovery of existing, but unknown, Armenian-Azeri online/offline relationships and networks. Natural growth in communication
  31. 31. Possible use of online tools for fact-checking by journalists in Armenia and Azerbaijan </li></ul>
  32. 32. Twitter Contact
  33. 33. Potential <ul><li>Viral nature of online, social media
  34. 34. Participants for civil society conflict resolution, simulation, transformation programs
  35. 35. Cooperation in Georgia and other third countries, such as our project on Armenian and Azerbaijani co-existence in Georgia
  36. 36. Increased communication, cooperation and networking </li></ul>
  37. 37. http://www.oneworld.am/diversity/
  38. 41. http://peace.facebook.com
  39. 42. Words of caution New media tools will certainly help in getting people better acquainted with each other, but at the same time can also be used to reaffirm existing biases. Just search on the Internet for Armenian and Azerbaijani web sites and you can find a lot of trash and very harmful discourse from nationalist websites. I’m mildly optimistic, but at the same time think we should be very cautious about what we find on the Internet as well. Bart Woord , International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) Secretary General
  40. 43. Holistic approach I think you can’t do it just with social media tools, but as we’ve seen over the past 15 years, you definitely can’t do it by meeting in Tbilisi for a weekend every summer. It becomes an “entertainment” and I’ve had experience with those conferences in Georgia where it’s just one big coffee break and a waste of money. However, I think that both approaches combined could propel things along . Micael Bogar , Projects Manager at the American University's Center for Social Media
  41. 44. What next? I would very much like to see more debate among bloggers in Armenia and Azerbaijan . We really need some kind of initiative for this because I would really like to see borders opened and conflict resolved. My mother says that when she went to school she had Armenians among her friends. I would very much like myself or my children when they grow up to be able to say the same kind of thing to their children. Arzu Geybullayeva, Regional Analyst European Stability Initiative (ESI), Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines
  42. 45. Social media in Azerbaijan <ul><li>BBC, VOA, RFE banned from broadcasting on local frequencies in January 2009
  43. 46. RFE in particular started to increase its online presence, inc. citizen media
  44. 47. Growth in number of blogs, especially English-language
  45. 48. May Flower Day protests and commentary on blogs, videos on YouTube </li></ul>
  46. 49. Twitter updates on detainees
  47. 50. 'Donkey bloggers' imprisoned <ul><li>Co-founders of OL! Youth movement and Alumni Network (AN)
  48. 51. Use of YouTube and social networks
  49. 52. Detention after satirical video
  50. 53. International outrage. Amnesty International declares Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli Prisoners of Conscience </li></ul>
  51. 54. Campaign <ul><li>Existing networks, especially Facebook , allowed campaigners to mobilize support worldwide
  52. 55. Increased and unprecedented use of new and social media tools such as blogs, Twitter with the hashtag #EminAdnan , online video to cover the case and keep it in the media spotlight
  53. 56. Social media for organizing flash mobs
  54. 57. New connections with people worldwide </li></ul>
  55. 58. An example for the future <ul><li>Blogs connect people who might otherwise not be in contact
  56. 59. Facebook and social media is a valuable tool for campaigning on different issues
  57. 60. Social networking sites are essential tools in building up trust, relationships and connections with people sharing mutual interests and concerns
  58. 61. The example of social media in the Adnan and Emin campaign as well as in communication across borders now slowly being adopted by civil society, especially as it allows for continued contact after actual physical meeting </li></ul>
  59. 62. Pause for thought <ul><li>Governments might have control of the media and seek to silence alternative voices, but new and social media allows individuals, activists and organizations to not only connect, but also have their voices heard </li></ul>
  60. 63. http://threatened.globalvoicesonline.org/

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