From social media’s role in spurring unrest to new weapons for waging war and suppressing dissent, the rapid pace of technological change is transforming conflict. While these changes have in many cases facilitated violence, decentralised social media and messaging platforms have also enabled citizens and policymakers to organise for peace at unprecedented scales. Crisis Group’s field-based research and quantitative analysis on technology and war explores how governments, civil society actors and technology companies can mitigate the conflict-exacerbating risks of new and emerging technologies and pursue the possibilities for peace.
As Twitter limits access to a tool to analyse conversations on the platform, researchers will be deprived of information that sheds light on political hate speech and incitement to violence. That will have real-world implications for tracking election meddling, disinformation campaigns and human rights abuses.
A victim’s relative is among those accusing Meta in a Kenyan court of failing to adequately police incendiary speech on Facebook during Ethiopia’s civil war. Much greater effort from the company is warranted. But Meta’s task is hardly straightforward.
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