Why do we bother with social media?

Written by Paulina Goodwin, @shvetsova, Digital Content Manager and lead on our international social media work

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Just as I finished my blog about the future of our social media work I learnt of the Chelsea Manning story on Twitter. Trending within minutes, most tweets repeated the same information, while some corrected misuses of pronouns. The trolls were coming out too. Twitter is a wonderful vehicle for our belief in freedom of expression and yet when it comes to breaking news rumour, speculation, misinformation and expressions of hatred divert our desire to know and understand. Continue reading

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End violence against women in Egypt

Written by Adriana Hennawi, Amnesty Germany,

The world watches on as violence and the terrible loss of life continues in Egypt. As you may know, the violence left more than 800 people dead and thousands injured across the country.  Promises from the authorities to use lethal methods only as a last resort to disperse protesters appear to have been broken once again. Women, who are at the heart of Egypt’s civil society, continue to face horrific gender based violence. Continue reading

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The greatest threat to the future of the internet

Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) w3.org, the place to agree on web standards. (c) John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) w3.org, the place to agree on web standards. (c) John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Written by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, @timberners_lee

Dear friends and colleagues at Amnesty

You asked me to speak about the greatest threat to the future of the internet. You might be expecting me, as a computer scientist, to talk about techy stuff. But in my mind as the inventor of the web, it is very clear that its future depends on people – and whether ordinary people mobilise on a large scale to keep it free, open and universal. I believe we have reached a critical juncture where if we do not unite and fight for our rights to privacy, freedom of information, freedom of association, and freedom of expression in this new digital world, they will be taken away. 

The Web has become the most powerful tool to democratise knowledge, innovation and expression since the printing press. It is only a tool. It does not substitute for the need to keep fighting for social and political justice by other means, but it is an incredibly important tool, making it possible for anyone with a $50 mobile phone and a 2G connection to publish their views, spread information, organise and collaborate, instantly and anonymously, without having to ask anyone for permission or buy a license. So it is totally unsurprising that governments and some large companies want to harness and control the Web for their own benefit.    Continue reading

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What’s four days at the Amnesty ICM like?

Written by Christoffer Holm, Global Fundraising Innovations Advisor, Amnesty International

This has been four exciting days. First of all it is fantastic to meet new and ‘old’ friends from all over the world. Some of you have been through extremely hard times in places like Egypt, Mali and Turkey, but you have faced danger and challenges in an extraordinary way, always keeping human rights at the center of what you do and always with commitment to document and challenge injustice. Continue reading

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Digital Freedoms – “My camera is my weapon”.

Panic Button is an app designed for smart phones that sends out a GPS distress signal if activated. (c) Amnesty International

Panic Button is an app designed for smart phones that sends out a GPS distress signal if activated. (c) Amnesty International

Written by Remzi Cej, Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission, Canada, @remzicej

“My camera is my weapon”. These are the words of Nariman, a Palestinian woman from the West Bank. She recorded her brother being shot by the Israeli Defence Forces during a peaceful protest – sadly he subsequently died. Using the video as her evidence, Nariman is now calling on the Israeli military to investigate and punish the soldiers who shot her brother. Continue reading

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Amnesty’s International Council Meeting 2013 in video

Time to cast your minds back to an amazing opening day of the Amnesty’s International Council Meeting 2013. We’ve put together a short video to highlight just a few of the inspirational moments. Let us know what your favourite part of the ICM has been so far either by commenting on this post or logging on to Twitter and using the hashtag #AmnestyICM and don’t forget to share this video. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Reflections on the ICM 2013 Youth Day

Delegates taking part in one of the main ICM challenges. (c) Amnesty International

Delegates taking part in one of the main ICM challenges. (c) Amnesty International

Written by Victoria Gronwald, Youth Delegate Amnesty International Switzerland,

What does it mean to represent 20’000 young people at the ICM? We had to ask ourselves this question when we counted that for each of us 25 youth delegates there are around 20’000 Amnesty youth members. This seems like a lot, but actually, as shown by the State of the Movement report, the number of young members is decreasing. And also the number of young people forming part of sections’ and structures’ ICM delegations has diminished since the last International Council Meeting in 2011. What are the reasons for this? Are they external or is the movement maybe missing opportunities to reach out to young people? Continue reading

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