< SWITCH ME >

15438012366 e969a146df z
Photo: wackystuff (flickr); Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

Our editor Isabell Wutz points you in the direction of a few essays and articles guaranteed to make you ponder. Read about the underrated danger of social media in times of terrorisms, how different languages change personalities, and how a young Chinese swimmer reminds everyone what the Olympic Games really are about. 

Isabell, Sixth Sense and Legs editor

isabell

 The underrated danger of social media news in times of terrorims

Almost two months ago an 18year-old man shot several people at a Munich shopping mall. Not long after the news spread, my phone started buzzing with several texts from friends and family living in the city assuring me of their safety. At this point little was known about the incident but the rumour mill was already in overdrive. It was then a friend messaged me, asking if my family was alright concluding with the sentence: “I would have guessed that it catches Berlin or Cologne first…crazy times”. Here I realized how dangerous unfiltered information and speculation can be, especially on publicly accessible social media channels. Interpreting events on the grounds of only a few confirmed facts and much uncertain information can lead us to premature conclusions and as seen in the case of Munich, fear, panic and false accusations. Particularly, in these, well-described, “crazy times”, people tend to quickly condemn situations without having the required knowledge, and thereby we contribute to creating and spreading potentially false narratives online for everyone to see and believe. 

Published in Good Reads
Homs locals
Photo: Brian Dell  (Wikimedia Commons); Licence: CC0 1.0  

It's that time for another of E&M's editors to suggest their favourite reads: Chris Ruff reflects on what the female involvement in the Islamic State could represent and how far did social media impact the british elections.

Chris, Heart / Legs editor

Chris

The women of IS

A powerful article that caught my eye this week is the latest in the New York Times' "State of Terror" series, focusing on the story of three young girls from London who flew to Syria to join the Islamic State in February this year.

The long read has numerous strands to it, including the identity dilemmas of second generation Muslim immigrants in Britain and other Western countries, and the tactics used by IS to lure young women from their safe homes in the West to their violent and dangerous "Caliphate" in the Syrian desert.

But what struck me most was the links to female empowerment and the "twisted form of feminism" that the IS female brigades represent. Of the 4000 foreign fighters who have joined the movement, 550 are estimated to be women and girls. Yet what is clear is that the phenomenon is misunderstood and authorities still don’t know how they should deal with it. One cannot help but notice that the fundamentalist Islamic critique – young Western girls being sexualised from a young age – has some truth to it. But their solution – the complete covering of the face and head and a life of purity and devotion to one’s husband, not to mention actively supporting a murderous regime – is an anathema to our liberal Western values

Published in Good Reads
800px-United Nations Plaza buildings - New York
Photo: Banfield (Wikimedia Commons); Licence: CC BY-SA 2.5 AR
 
The Social Good Summit 2014 will take place during UN Week in September

 

Our friends at Young European Leadership are sending a delegation to the Social Good Summit in New York and have asked us to share their call for applications with E&M readers.  Full details can be found on the YLA website.

The Social Good Summit is a two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. Held during UN Week from 21 - 22 September, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders and grassroots activists to discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our time. The theme, "#2030NOW, Connecting for Good, Connecting for All", asks the question, "What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?" During the Social Good Summit, global citizens around the world unite to unlock the potential of technology to make the world a better place.   Young European Leadership is invited to send a delegation of 10 to attend the Summit, to join the global discussion on #2030 now, and to actively contribute to its success. YEL applies rolling admission. The first application deadline is 31 July 2014.

NEXT ISSUE
IN -827 DAYS