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News & Events
Ctrl Alt-Right: How White Supremacists Use Coded Messages to Communicate Online PDF Print

15 April 2019

Country: Global

by: Grant Williams

CntlAltFarRightIt is no secret that terrorists have used online platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter as a means to recruit and radicalise people online. As soon as it became clear that groups like the Islamic State were actively using these platforms to recruit followers and spread propaganda, social media companies started to employ artificial intelligence (AI) technology to flag, and remove hateful content before it could spread further. As of March of this year, this software was removing more than one million accounts per day from Facebook alone.

However, in the wake of the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand, it has become clear that AI tools are not picking up on far right, extremist messages in the same way. Some blame social media companies for employing a double standard in evaluating violent content, but the reality is more complex. White supremacists frequently communicate through coded language, ‘in jokes’ and sarcasm, circumventing the AI tools meant to spot only explicitly violent content, allowing an undercurrent of extreme hate to flourish online.

 
Exploring Diversity and the Media at the International Journalism Festival 2019 PDF Print

3 – 7 April 2019

Country: Italy

IJFThis year’s International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy hosted 650 speakers taking part in 280 sessions on topics ranging from creating deep fake videos to freedom of expression and the rise of populism.

“Diversity” was a consistent theme across panels; here is a round-up of some of the most interesting conversations:

On a panel talking about the lack of female expert sources used in the news, media development director at WAN-IFRA Melanie Walker commented: “People want to see themselves reflected in the news that they read, in the content produced and the people they are seeing on screen, and this extends to expert sources.” Ros Atkins, from the BBC, and Jenny Holm, from Internews, discussed what their respective newsrooms were doing in order to tackle this issue, with the emphasis being on colleague engagement and participation.

 
MDI Contributes to United Nations Panel on Cybersexism and the Media PDF Print

21 March 2019

Country: United States, Global

CSW63In honor of International Women’s Month, Media Diversity Institute joined a Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) panel titled, Does the online space allow women in the media to challenge stereotyping and misrepresentation?

The event was held as part of the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women in New York City.

“The digital world is a space that is accessible to everyone, provided that technical obstacles are surpassed,” said Dr. Snjezana Milivojevic of the University of Belgrade's Media Studies department, who represented Media Diversity Institute on the panel.

 
Ethics of Care in New Zealand PDF Print

25 March 2019

Country: New Zealand

by: Verica Rupar

Screen_Shot_2019-03-25_at_12.47.52_PMThe terrorist attack in Christchurch has shaken New Zealand to its core. A white supremacist killed 50 people and injured dozens more in the attack on two mosques in a country where violence is rare, and racism unwelcome.

The grief is tangible. We feel it in the voice of the imam, the tears of Muslim men, women and children who lost their love ones, and the hugs of their friends, neighbours, colleagues, and fellow New Zealanders. It is felt by Christians, Jews, Hindu, people of all religions and of no religion. Kia kaha, stay strong New Zealanders, have been written on thousands of memory walls, pinned to flowers left in front of the places of worship, scribbled on the cards randomly put on park benches.

 
How A Grassroots Campaign Called Upon the World to #StopFundingHate PDF Print

21 March 2019

Country: UK

by: Mikhail Yakovlev

STOPFUNDINGHATEFrom a small social-media campaign to a co-drafter of a UN agreement, Stop Funding Hate has had a huge impact on media racism since 2016. Their grassroots strategy empowers ordinary consumers worldwide to push brands they love to stop funding problematic media coverage in notorious tabloids such as The Daily Mail and The Sun. We recently spoke to Richard Wilson, the Director and co-founder of Stop Funding Hate, to find out more.

MDI: Could you start by telling our readers why you started Stop Funding Hate back in 2016?

There was a huge surge of anti-migrant stories in the UK press, in particular in The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Daily Express. It was clear that this was creating a very toxic atmosphere that was only getting worse. Still, these newspapers just kept on pushing this really negative narrative.

I was very shocked at the way this was starting to spill into violence on the streets. I was thinking to myself, what would it take to persuade these editors to change the way they frame these issues? I was not thinking that we as a society cannot discuss migration. But, it was about the tone of these discussions. For example, The Daily Express in 2016 had 70 front page stories about migrants. Every single one was negative. That looks like a hate campaign.

 

 

 
Update: Open Letter to IPSO PDF Print

20 March 2019

Country: UK

migration-5c-20_37566799_1Earlier this year, Media Diversity Institute and Hacked Off authored an open letter to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), demanding better policies regarding handling complaints concerning racial and religious-based hate speech in the UK press. Over the course of one year, IPSO received 8,000 of such complaints, and upheld only one.

We have received more than one hundred signatures from parliamentarians, freedom of expressoin organisations and influential academics. We have received more than 5,000 signatures from concerned individuals. If you are one of our signatories, thank you. To add your name, please visit the Hacked Off website here.

 
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