Anti- FGM Activists take activism to social media

By Sania Babirye

Anti Female genital Mutilation activists  have devised a new  strategy of creating  and re packaging  the message against female genital mutilation.

The new strategy will involve short videos taken  by youths who are activists against Female genital Mutilation distributed in communities practicing FGM distributed using their social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube  among other social media networks.

As a result  the Italian Association for Women in Development has concluded a 10 day training workshop on how to create and produce videos on FGM in Kampala where 13 youths from African countries and Germany affected by FGM received certificates,  smart phones and cameras to  help  them in their work.

While closing the workshop Susan Namuwonge from the ministry  of Gender has welcomed the video strategy   saying it is very  important and appropriate because it stimulates discussion over an act that violates the   rights to life among other human rights violations .

She further says that with the power  that a video has to go viral more attention will be given to the abandonment against the act because people learn best when they hear and see helping them to appreciate the fact that FGM is a bad practice.

According to UNICEF report at least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries especially in Africa have been subjected to the practice.

FGM has also emerged as an issue in Europe (German)due to migration from countries affected by  practice.

Egyptian Government to register social media users

The Egyptian government is considering radical new proposals to restrict citizens’ access to social media.

A draft bill circulated in Egyptian newspapers would require users to register with the government to access sites including Twitter and Facebook. Successful applicants would receive a login linked to their national ID. Unauthorized use could result in prison sentences and heavy fines.
The draft was authored by MP Reyad Abdel Sattar of the liberal Free Egyptians Party, the largest party in parliament with 65 of 596 seats. He told the Egypt Independent it would: “facilitate state surveillance over social networks in Egypt by making users enroll in a government-run electronic system that will grant them permission to access Facebook.”
Sattar said the reforms were necessary to combat terrorism and incitement against the state. He claims to have the support of 60 fellow MPs as the bill goes to parliamentary committees for review.
Civil society groups are alarmed by the implications of the proposed law.
“This will have a big impact by controlling what people say and don’t say,” says Wafa-Ben Hassine of digital rights group Access Now. “Government issued IDs are linked to a plethora of activities including driving, banking, and medical services so the government will have much more information about users’ whereabouts.”
The April 6 Youth Movement denounced the proposal in a scathing Facebook post:
“Unfortunately these ideas are outdated…The whole world has gone beyond the idea of banning the Internet.”

Twitter takes a step against terrorism,suspends 125,000 accounts

Twitter says it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 “for threatening or promoting terrorist acts”.

In a blog, the US-based firm said the accounts “primarily related to ISIS” (the so-called Islamic State group).

“We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism,” it said, adding that it had increased its report reviewing teams to react faster.

Twitter has more than 500 million users around the world.

“We have already seen results, including an increase in account suspensions and this type of activity shifting off of Twitter,” the company said.

It added that it was co-operating with law enforcement bodies “when appropriate” as well as other organisations.

Governments around the world – including the US – have been urging social media companies to take more robust measure to tackle online activity aimed at promoting violence.

The negative way of looking at this situation is that Twitter’s problem with terrorism-related posts is a lot worse than we thought.

A study towards the tail-end of 2014 estimated that around 46,000 accounts had been used to post extremist material, and so in just over a year that number has rocketed.

But of course, the positive way of looking at it is that Twitter is seemingly on top of the issue and taking it seriously. It’s doing what it can to make sure the public knows this, at a time when many in government are hitting Silicon Valley companies with large doses of “surely something can be done” rhetoric.

The big question is what happens next. Terrorists will carry on making more accounts, as well as migrating to other platforms.

And questions will be raised about the removal process. Who decides? Who’s keeping watch? The definition and perpetrators of terrorism can change depending on your geography and political views.

Twitter will now be asked: why not fascist tweets? Or anti-Israel? Anti-Palestine? Anti-women? Anti-[insert cause here]?

In December, US politicians put forward a bill that would force such companies – including Twitter and Facebook – to report any apparent terrorist activity they find.

EU officials have also been calling for talks with major social media firms to discuss the issue.

In March, Facebook revamped its “community standards” to include a separate section on “dangerous organisations”.

It said it would ban groups promoting “terrorist activity, organised criminal activity or promoting hate.”






Wiz Khalifah’s tweet sends Kanye into an outrageous mess

What. Just. Happened.

That is the question most of the Internet had on Wednesday, when, before our very eyes, Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa started the greatest Twitter feud since the beginning of Twitter (no, but really).

Basically it all started when Kanye renamed his album WAVES, and then Wiz tweeted some displeasure about it and also some initials that maybe belonged to Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian and it escalated from there. The ensuing feud had more than a dozen tweets, many disparaging remarks and several references to Wiz’s “cool pants.” Kanye also brought Amber Rose into the whole thing, and things got kind of unfortunate.

But who cares about the actual feud, because the memes are way funnier. The denizens of the Internet, as they are wont to do, had a lot (and we do mean a lot) of fun with the whole thing. Here are some of the best reactions:

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-USA Today