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SXSW Interactive 2016

Social Media: Five Years After the Arab Spring

Five years ago thousands took to social media in the Middle East to demand democratic reform. The digital activism of the Arab Spring sparked a movement felt around the world. In turn, repressive governments began using social media as a weapon against freedom of speech. Since then oppressive regimes have wielded the power of the Internet to target activists, political dissenters, and minority communities, including LGBT people. In this session, activists and leading experts will explore what role technology companies and governments can play in protecting rights and free expression online.

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  1. What role can technology companies and governments play in protecting human rights online?
  2. How can social media be used as a weapon against free speech?
  3. What is the future of digital activism?



Kalyah Ford, Digital Content Specialist, Human Rights First

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