Tech for Social Activism Space: What’s Coming Next!

Mozilla Festival

By Mozilla Festival | Feb. 9, 2021 | Mozilla Festival

Tech for Social Activism post on purple and teal gradient background with text "social cohesion, censorship and activism, and digital rights and security" Image courtesy of Tech for Social Activism Space Wranglers

MozFest is almost here and in the Tech for Social Activism Space we are ready to learn from and share how to use tech as a tool to drive change with activists and community organizers.

In our previous blog post, we talked about who the Space was designed for, who we wanted to respond to the Call for Proposals, and what conversations we aspire to have in the Space. The Call for Proposals is now closed and sessions have been selected, so we are working hard on bringing the Tech for Social Activism Space to life!

Here is a sneak peak of the amazing sessions and some of the topics you’ll see in the Tech for Social Activism Space at MozFest 2021.

Social Cohesion

When we talk of social cohesion as a topic for our space, we are referring to the extent of connectedness and solidarity among people and groups in a community. How’s their sense of belonging to that community? How are the relationships among different groups in that community and how do the established power dynamics affect those relationships? These are some of the questions we hope to address. For example, in the session “Stop raging against the machines: Building a citizen linguist lab that detects hate speech”, we will discuss how social cohesion gets harmed by hate speech and possible online and offline strategies being tested by The Sentinel Project.

Censorship and Activism

The University of Michigan reported that from August 2018 to April 2020 internet censorship increased in 103 countries, some of them considered as the most “free” countries in the world. The internet is getting more crowded, but not necessarily more transparent and accessible, with tech firms and governments deciding on what is allowed and what isn’t. Consider internet censorship in China and India and the recent internet shutdown during Myanmar’s military coup for proof that we are facing an increasing problem worldwide.

The Open Observatory of Network Interference, a global community measuring internet censorship since 2012, is hosting a MozFest workshop “Exploring Internet censorship through OONI data” on how to use their web based platforms that enable users to explore, investigate, and discover evidence of internet censorship in the world.

Digital Rights and Digital Security

A main focus of the Tech for Social Activism Space is digital rights and digital security, providing non-tech activists the necessary skills and tools to defend themselves and those they work with. Especially now with the current pandemic keeping us at home and online all the time, it is more necessary than ever that we are aware of the information we put online, to understand our rights, and to know which tools built to tackle the virus can also be used against us. In the session “Digital Activism and Surveillance in Times of Pandemic”, we will discuss the challenges and risks that the pervasive deployment of COVID-19 contact tracing technologies and related surveillance mechanisms may pose to activists, dissidents, and social movement participants.

Are you ready to join us at MozFest in theTech for Social Activism Space? Get your MozFest ticket today to ensure you don’t miss any of these important conversations.

MozFest is 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. To learn more, visit www.mozillafestival.org.

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