Peacebuilding and social media impacts on political good

Hi everyone,

I’m an international peacebuilder and religious leader. I focus on building networks of grassroots communities who build peace and justice in every sphere of life. The things I’ve learned here have been very important for how my team strategically engages.

One of my professors, who’s a leader in the Peacebuilding and Development field has used some of the research and writing form our forum to create a report from the peacebuilding perspective. Some of you might find her unique perspective interesting and helpful.

This is the summary:
“Social media is both an asset and a threat to social and political goods. This first in a series of policy briefs on social media aims to build the capacity of civil society to understand the economic and psychological appeal of social media, identify the range of opportunities and challenges related to social media, and promote discussion on potential solutions to these challenges. Currently, few in civil society or government understand how social media works. Technology experts and investor-oriented social media platforms cannot address the opportunities and challenges brought by social media capabilities. Together, government, corporations, and civil society, need to find ways to respond to the growing crisis of social media ethics and impacts.”

Follow this link to download the full report.

Hope this is helpful.

Thank you; I’m reading the policy brief and finding it interesting. Just read this section and thought I’d share it:

F. Coordinate a Campaign for Social Media Literacy
People do not want to be “data producing farm animals, domesticated and dependent” upon social media for our unhealthy addiction. (Vaidhyanathan 2018, 203) The public needs to understand how social media is impacting their personal lives and broader society. Providing social media literacy for billions of people is daunting. Governments, social media platforms, corporations, schools and universities, and civil society organizations all need to participate. The content of social media literacy should include the following:
• basic training on privacy settings to help users be aware and control their information;
• strategies for self-control, so social media users set limits on their own usage;
• accountability coaching, so users understand the impact of incivility and hate speech; and
• training to recognize the tricks of persuasion and propaganda.

Online companies self regulation is over ?


Facebook has agreed as part of the settlement with the Federal Trade Commission to create a privacy committee to protect users’ data as well as the creation of external assessor who will determine if Fb is complying with the new FTC order and its user privacy policy. Do you think this will be effective enough though no one on Fb would be held personally accountable for the repeated privacy violations of Fb users data? Thoughts?

@sidnya and @micheleminno, we should consider these elements of literacy when we use social media to spread our message. I like the idea of “accountability coaching” and “training to recognize…propaganda.”


“Basic training on privacy setting to help users be aware and control their information” this is one of many reasons why the FTC wanted to regulate FB and with billion dolllar fines soon, sometimes it was non-existent.
One instance was the changed of privacy setting of 14 million people without their consent, thus easy picking to those who wanted to mine it. And there were other cases where even if the setting were private data could still be accessed. FB often violated the privacy of its users to maximize profit. The name of the game is greed. The FTC investigation was related to privacy regulation violations with how fb shared data to third party developer. The cambridge analytica scandal has raised some serious questions about user privacy particularly how it was shared .Did this data sharing violates the agreement between the FTC and Fb back in 2011 to better protect users’ privacy? Sharing users’ data to phone manufacturers such as samsung, apple etc. without their consent. Other companies given access such as netflix and spotify were given the ability to read the private messages of Fb users. These were just part of never ending glaring abuses of users’ privacy. And they remain unaccountable. That is the reason that regulation is a hot topic today. The harms to our democracy are real. The lack of accountability, transparency and the detailed data on many of us gained corporations and politicians dangerous power to manipulate us on how we perceive the world. The solutions for fb privacy issue I don’t know if they go far enough. Personal accountability is great but how about their accountabilty to us?

Hello and thank you for initiating this thread.

The convergence between peace building and digital tech is indeed interesting.
The Isooko project that I am part of looks at that (as well as others of course).

Issues like you raise are getting more and more attention and self-regulation might actually come to an end. The key, I find, is going to root causes. One these might be the way that all technologies mediate human experience via aspects that bypass our conscious engagement. Most times we direct our attention at the contents we are after online and are a playball of the larger processes and structures at play.

This is a thread we are exploring under the heading of collective consciousness. If you are interested in this have a look at the workshop we are running in Vienna this June at the Community and Technology conference:

Looking forward to continuing this conversation.
Best wishes,

Monopoly and its consequences. Fb co-founder calls for the break up of Fb