digital diplomacy and new tech

Each year, hundreds of MIT students travel abroad to conduct research through MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI), the Global Entrepreneurship Lab, and other programs. The new iDiplomats program aims to transform the experience of students traveling abroad with advice on how to be unofficial “innovation diplomats” for MIT. 

Web giants Google, Facebook, and Twitter have joined forces with a British charity in a bid to remove millions of indecent child images from the net. In a UK first, anti-abuse organization Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has begun sharing lists of indecent images, identified by unique "hash" codes. Wider use of the photo-tagging system could be a "game changer" in the fight against pedophiles, the charity said.

Hashtags around race like #icantbreathe #Blacklivesmatter found their way into many feeds, pushed themselves into wider view, and forced a reckoning. [...] African-American struggles have inspired and tactically informed anti-caste activism. But could Dalit-Bahujan Twitter exert a similar force, in India?

But as years went by, that never happened, and Bakshi realized that platforms like Google and Facebook often failed to encourage people to connect in meaningful, personal ways over long distances.

On the Korean peninsula, the tense boundary known as the demilitarized zone is not the only thing that separates the North and South. The war seven decades ago also created a division in how Koreans speak their language. And for many newly arrived North Korean defectors in the South, learning new words and expressions makes resettling even more challenging. A new smartphone app could help these refugees overcome the linguistic division. 

China’s military is in the middle of a “hidden war” with the West, according to an editorial in the People’s Liberation Army Daily. The piece claims that the Internet has become an “ideological battlefield” that  can only be won by controlling it. In shielding the Chinese public from “Western hostile forces,” China’s government may successfully win an ideological battle, but it may come at the cost of homegrown technological innovation and could stifle economic development.

On the second day of his trip to China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went viral. Shortly after presiding over a stunning joint demonstration of yoga and Chinese Tai chi at the iconic Temple of Heaven, Modi snapped a selfie with his counterpart Li Keqiang.

The Internet still poses challenges for state and non-state actors alike.