Internet shutdowns in India and crisis response tipline for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria
We hope you’re staying safe and healthy.
This week we are pleased to share that our partner Fatabyyano has launched a tipline for earthquake crisis response. This collaboration marks the first Check tipline made for an Arabic-speaking audience. With a larger volume of misinformation circulating online during crises such as the earthquake, Fatabyyano seeks to get critical information to Turkey and Syria earthquake victims through this tipline.
This week we have updates from India which remains the Internet Shutdown Capital of the World for Fifth Year Running. Data compiled by global digital rights group Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition reveals that India implemented at least 84 shutdowns in 2022, the most of any country for year. When heads of states make racist comments, it is most likely to distract citizens from significant issues plaguing the country. This has been the case in Tunisia, where racist comments by the president have been condemned by human rights groups.
Also, take a look at the Townsquare section where we share opportunities and events.
If there are updates you would like us to share from your country or region, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
The Check Global Report
By Meedan’s Check Global team in Beirut, Kochi, Bhimtal, and Nairobi
People on TikTok are paying elderly women to sit in stagnant mud for hours and cry (Rest of World)
In a series of recently viral livestreams on Indonesian TikTok, women in their 50s and 60s sit in a stagnant pool of water and mud, often shivering. In doing so, the women — or the TikTok creators directing them, at least — can earn money. The content sparked outrage from Indonesian officials, who resorted to putting legal pressure on the creators responsible, and finally, this month, ordered TikTok to take down multiple mud bath accounts. The mud bath videos are part of a wave of exploitative so-called poverty porn exploding on Indonesian TikTok, which experts say the company has been slow to flag and remove, and which can slip through the cracks of harmful content as defined by the company’s terms of service.
“In the case of the mud baths … the content seems to have still been within the standard moderation limits, so TikTok had no basis for taking action against the videos... [To] crack down on viral videos is also actually counterproductive to TikTok’s desire to try to milk as much attention and interest as possible … before finally public pressure forces TikTok to take action." — Angga Prawadika Aji, a lecturer in communications at Airlangga University
Black African immigrants trying to change demographic make-up of country, says Tunisia president (The Intercept)
Tunisian human rights groups and other critics have condemned the comments as a racist campaign designed to distract citizens from the country's problems. The Tunisian president has claimed that undocumented migration from sub-Saharan African countries is aimed at changing the demographic make-up of the country.
After the parliament was dissolved, the first black Tunisian MP, Jamilia Ksiksi, warned that the political turmoil would likely mean court cases looking into racial discrimination would take longer to be processed.
India Remains Internet Shutdown Capital of the World for Fifth Year Running: Report (The Wire)
For a fifth consecutive year, India is the world’s largest offender, out of all democracies, in terms of enforcing deliberate internet shutdowns.
Data compiled by global digital rights group Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition reveals that India implemented at least 84 shutdowns in 2022, the most of any country for year.
The prolonged internet shutdown in Kashmir was challenged by Anuradha Bhasin, the editor of the Kashmir Times’ Srinagar edition. She argued the internet is essential for the press and that by shutting it down, the government forced the media to come to “a grinding halt”.
Meedan partner Fatabyyano launches tipline for earthquake crisis response
The latest collaboration marks the first Check tipline made for an Arabic-speaking audience
A Meedan partner in Jordan has launched an emergency tipline to get critical information to Turkey and Syria earthquake victims. The partner, Fatabyyano, debuted a smart multi-platform fact-checking assistant called Kinan— an automated messaging solution powered by Meedan’s Check.
Last month, Meedan announced an earthquake crisis response fund for media and fact-checking organizations covering Turkey and Syria.
“With over one million followers on Fatabyyano’s social media accounts and millions in audience reach, we are pleased to have a Check tipline adding to Fatbayyano’s impressive work, including direct communication with audiences requesting trusted information” — Ed Bice, CEO of Meedan.
World News Media Congress 2023: will take place on June 28-30, 2023 in Taipei, Taiwan. Since 1948, the World News Media Congress is the most important annual gathering of news media leaders. Spread over three days, the Congress, its various summits and fora will address key issues facing the media industry. You can register here.
Mozilla Festival 2023: Mozilla Festival is the world's leading festival for the open internet movement. The festival is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.You can secure your ticket here.
2023 Global Investigative Journalism Conference: The Global Investigative Journalism Conference is the world’s largest international gathering of investigative journalists. The conference features training on the latest tools and techniques, cutting-edge workshops, and extensive networking and brainstorming sessions. You can register for the conference here.
What else we’re reading
Instagram users are being served gory videos of killing and torture. Pages with millions of followers are using Reels videos showing violence, sexual assault and animal cruelty to draw audience and monetize (The Washington post)
How can the Supreme Court reshape the web? In this article, Tate Ryan-Mosley presents four scenarios (MIT Technology Review)
“I Asked an Algorithm to Optimize My Life. Here's What Happened” (Wired)
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