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One of the most eye-opening moments of my time as the deputy assistant secretary for digital strategy at the U.S. State Department occurred on a trip to the country of Georgia, aimed at helping the government build its digital capacity to better serve its population. Our message was the same advice we’d given to countless governments: Focus on Facebook. It was the dominant player. Elites tended to use Twitter. Google ads were worth it if you had the money. But for governments wanting to reach real people on a global scale, Facebook was the scalable, smart solution. 

Ali Fisher uses data to dispute the claim that ISIS is on the decline.

The companies say they are acting on this problem. Facebook says it has begun to use artificial intelligence to spot images, videos and text related to terrorism as well as clusters of fake accounts. Meanwhile, Twitter says it suspended 299,649 accounts in the first six months of this year - 75% of these before their first tweet. The companies are now sharing databases of suspicious material, and they have set up the Global Internet Forum to bring together the major players on the issue.

September 13, 2017

It was only a few years ago that e-diplomacy was being heralded as an unalloyed force for good. This 21st Century form of statecraft would bring transparency and openness to the closeted world of international affairs...U.S. President Donald Trump has obviously highlighted the dangers of conducting foreign policy by social media. In the hands of the impulsive and uniformed, the smart phone becomes a dangerous weapon.

As the armed conflict in Rakhine State continues to escalate, forcing over 120,000 Rohingya Muslims from their homes, another war rages online as social media becomes the battlefield for winning hearts, minds and international support. The impact of social media in the latest clashes is proving a powerful tool with counter-narratives being thrown from each side.

Facebook has removed several posts made by people smugglers openly advertising to attract migrants seeking passage to Europe. Written in Arabic, many of the posts were accompanied by videos and testimonials of what the smugglers claim are successful trips across the Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece, and from Egypt to Italy. All were written in recent months, a time of year when many people attempt the journey.

Brandon Stanton's popular photography blog and Facebook page features often inspirational and thought-provoking interviews with everyday New Yorkers, and it’s grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2010. [...] "The key to all film, really, and certainly to the documentary films we do, is storytelling,” she said. “This is storytelling at its core, at its most visceral. That really appealed to us. People really open themselves up in a way that continues to surprise me."

Civilians are #NotATarget

The United Nations OCHA has launched an advocacy campaign that bring awareness to civilian casualties in war.

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