Social Media Impacts on Conflict and Democracy: The Techtonic Shift


PrefaceAcknowledgementsThe techtonic shift How social media worksWeighing social media impactsInformation ecosystems and information disordersThe Techtonic shift: how digital technologies change communicationSocial Confidence: People endorse information on social media by sharing it with their friends.Surveillance capitalism: social media’s economic modelThe attention economy: the neuroscience of brain hacking and addictionAlgorithmic extremismSocial media and neurological, social and institutional vulnerabilitiesReferencesDigital information, conflict and democracyInformation, democracy and conflictSocial media roles in cyberdemocracyInformation disorders and democracySocial media and polarisationPolarisation spectrumCivil society and the public: from social cohesion to hateViolent extremist groups on social mediaPolitical propagandaAuthoritarian use of social mediaObservable patterns across countriesReferencesBrazil Weaponised information and digitised hateBrazilian internet ecosystem: How hate digitisesFocal points of hate and disinformationWomen as a targetHomophobia and disinformation for political gainMarginalised communitiesPolicy recommendationsNotesReferencesColombia The use of social media in democratic spaces: a double-edged swordSocial media use during the 2016 plebisciteDisinformation, covertness and polarisation at the verge of uncertaintyThe discrete charm of disinformationFacing emotions with data and confrontationRunning to the extremesKnowledge, deliberation and action to end the conflict with the FARC-ЕР guerrillaThe Colombian presidential elections of 2018Threats and crimes against social and political leadersConclusions and recommendationsAdopt a multi-stakeholder strategy on social media visageHarness the power of civil societyEncourage state action beyond regulationEgyptSocial media impacts on civil society, violent extremism and government controlEman El-SherhinyIndiaA false information ecosystemSpandana SinghExisting approaches to combating false informationRecommendationsReferencesIndia-Pakistan Civil society digital activism for peaceThe India and Pakistan contextSocial media strategies of civil society peace activistsResisting xvar narratives with peace narratives by using social mediaSocial media and women peace activistsConnecting to the past: shared values of people of India and PakistanThe role of veterans, journalists and youthThe role of celebrities in peaceEngagement of leaders and officials on state levelThe role of diaspora and international communityPotential impact of civil society activism on India-Pakistan relationsRecommendationsReferencesJordan Social media and social change opportunities and threatsTrending hashtags: the pulse of the public opinion?Evening power distribution#Open-the-borders for crisis reliefOnline community support groupsCyberbullying, harassment and national valuesHate speechExtremist recruitment“Fatabayyanu” addresses disinformationMapping responses to social media threats and opportunitiesRecommendationsReferencesKenya Social media literacy, ethnicity and peacebuildingSocial media and politics in KenyaSocial media and post-election crisis in Kenva (2007/8 and 2017)Ethnicity and the 2017 post-election violencePositive use of social media platforms in AfricaPolicy recommendationsNotesReferencesMyanmar The role of social media in fomenting violenceThe political context: an emerging and fragile democracyThe internet landscape: Facebook firstThe weaponisation of FacebookFacebook’s response Absentee landlordRecommendationsTo social media companies Prioritise human rights due diligenceEngage directly with local civil societyContextualise policy using a tiered approach to protected categoriesScale, regularly audit and continuously improve country-level enforcementScale efforts to detect and curtail abuse at its sourcePreserve evidence of abuseNotesReferencesNigeria Social media dynamics in Boko Haram’s terrorist insurgenceThe social media revolution and its enablersThe social media profiteers Boko HaramThe Nigerian Military and Political ApparatusPolicy recommendationsConclusionReferencesNorthern Ireland Social media and conflict dynamics on the peace linesPoliticians’ use of social mediaThe role of social media in youth fightsSocial media as a force for good and bad among youthArranged fights, police and social mediaBrexit and its consequencesPolicy recommendationsNotesReferencesSri Lanka Digital blooms in social media and violenceSocial media and violence in Sri LankaThe youth bulge and the electorateMedia consumption in Sri LankaSocial media in politicsPolicy recommendationsReferencesVenezuela 21 st-century authoritarianism in the digital sphereZimbabwe Social media as a toxic tool or a future bridge to peaceA peacebuilding approach to addressing social media threatsGlossary