Since the Nobel Peace Prize 2021 was awared the brave journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov last December, the Nobel Peace Center has organized a series of seminars on journalism and freedom of expression. The series of seminars culminated in a large Freedom of Expression Conference at the Peace Center on Friday 2 September, where Nobel Peace Laureate Maria Ressa was present, while Muratov participted digitally from Moscow (due to Gorbachev’s death).
Bruce Mutsvairo from the DD-MAC project took part in the panel ‘Without Truth’ with Maria Ressa. In this panel, moderated by Ingrid Stolpestad, Bruce and Maria discussed the taming of technology as a way to deal with the growing amplification of online hate speech and disinformation.
Bruce drew on examples from DD-MAC’s workshops in Ethiopia to explain the relationship between social media and conflict. The preliminary results of the project’s case studies indicate how certain actors easily coordinate digital media to push hate. Maria and Bruce discussed the obstacles of content moderation as a solution to online violence. They pointed out how practicalities, digital divides, global power discrepancies, democratization processes, and ‘digital authoritarianism’ complicate this potential solution.
Find the entire conference HERE.