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Social Media for Social Change Tbilisi Presentation

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

1 of 26
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]
Background ,[object Object]
Azerbaijan Foreign radio stations taken off the air in January 2009 Arrest and imprisonment of two video blogging youth activists
Georgia August 2008 war with Russia Internet fastest and cheapest in region
Nagorno Karabakh ,[object Object]
Approx 25,000 dead
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Social Media for Social Change Tbilisi Presentation

  • 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.
  • 3. Azerbaijan Foreign radio stations taken off the air in January 2009 Arrest and imprisonment of two video blogging youth activists
  • 4. Georgia August 2008 war with Russia Internet fastest and cheapest in region
  • 5.
  • 7. Approx 1 million refugees and IDPs
  • 8. 14-16 percent of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenian forces (Baku says 20 percent)
  • 10. Territorial integrity vs. Right to self-determination
  • 11. Peace deal still elusive
  • 13.
  • 14. Civil society on both sides largely ineffective and/or closed
  • 15. Notion that Armenians and Azerbaijanis are 'ethnically incompatible' put into widespread circulation
  • 16. Media on both sides perpetuates negative stereotypes of the 'enemy'
  • 17. Communication with the 'enemy' discouraged on both sides
  • 18. Opposition as well as government in Armenia and government in Azerbaijan exploit Nagorno Karabakh conflict for short-term domestic political gain
  • 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. 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. "This house is Armenian" or "this house is Azeri." Or "this music is Armenian or Azeri." 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. 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.
  • 23. Blogs such as Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines
  • 25. Skype for secure communication
  • 26. Skype for interviews
  • 28.
  • 29. Coverage and translation on Global Voices Online
  • 30. Discovery of existing, but unknown, Armenian-Azeri online/offline relationships and networks. Natural growth in communication
  • 31. Possible use of online tools for fact-checking by journalists in Armenia and Azerbaijan
  • 33.
  • 34. Participants for civil society conflict resolution, simulation, transformation programs
  • 35. Cooperation in Georgia and other third countries, such as our project on Armenian and Azerbaijani co-existence in Georgia
  • 38.  
  • 39.  
  • 40.  
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 45.
  • 46. RFE in particular started to increase its online presence, inc. citizen media
  • 47. Growth in number of blogs, especially English-language
  • 48. May Flower Day protests and commentary on blogs, videos on YouTube
  • 49. Twitter updates on detainees
  • 50.
  • 51. Use of YouTube and social networks
  • 53. International outrage. Amnesty International declares Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli Prisoners of Conscience
  • 54.
  • 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
  • 56. Social media for organizing flash mobs
  • 57. New connections with people worldwide
  • 58.
  • 59. Facebook and social media is a valuable tool for campaigning on different issues
  • 60. Social networking sites are essential tools in building up trust, relationships and connections with people sharing mutual interests and concerns
  • 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
  • 62.