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Photo: Rosaura Ochoa (Flickr); Licence: CC BY 2.0
 

The double-sided nature of Twitter and social media in general 

 

It takes few seconds. 140 characters or a post on Facebook and we can share our ideas and go viral. But are we really aware of the consequences a single and easy gesture like pushing the button "tweet" or "publish" can have? Are we free to speak our mind online without worrying we are using a device or a type of connection which might get us in trouble? E&M author Petya Yankova interviewed Sanja Kelly, project director of an initiative called Freedom on the Net, about the findings of their latest report on freedom of expression online. What are the latest debates centred on and what is the response of young people in Europe to getting their rights infringed?

Meeting Belarusians for the first time, foreigners might not understand why every time someone makes a joke, they would put their wrists in front of their lips to whisper "Lukashenko". It’s an elusive reference for the commonly spread knowledge of governmental surveillance within the country. The name of the Belarusian president has become a synonym for the Big Brother, always watching from the shadows. Is there another country in Europe which recognises and still makes fun of repressions and privacy violations? Even the gesture-loving Italians do not have a hand movement for giving away your privacy involuntarily.

Belarus in only one of the countries where freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and other human rights are under threat. Violations of these fundamental rights invariably extend online but Ukraine's northern neighbour is far from being the only country in Europe where websites are banned, political content blocked and user rights blatantly disregarded.

Published in Beyond Europe
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 18:10

GAME OVER, Hate

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Brilliant sunshine, Hungarian cats and a ‘gossip box’ accompanied the various talks at the GAME OVER Hate study session in the European Youth Centre, Budapest, at the end of September. What do human rights have to do with art, what happens ‘behind the scenes’ in computer games and why is Europe at the heart of it all?

You might be wondering what GAME OVER Hate is. Unless you have been offline for a year, you can’t have missed the large European campaign against hate speech online. Do you remember a casual encounter with the ‘No Hate’ red heart;? Yes, that’s the symbol of the first youth campaign for the recognition of human rights online. The heart represents the chief European values of solidarity and respect in the context of online communication. 

Published in Snapshot
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