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Can your attention save lives? Human rights intervention as digital business + social media as moral fix
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Media and Communication Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4760-754X
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This conference presentation considers how the discourses of global governance institutions about the power of digital technologies to save the world frame the operations of Western human rights organizations (Chakravartty, 2006; Kleine, 2013; Wildermuth & Ngomba, 2016). Starting from a qualitative text analysis of recent World Bank and OECD reports -"Digital Dividends" (WB, 2016) and "The Sustainable Development Goals as Business Opportunities" (OECD, 2016)- I demonstrate the fit between these institutional discourses, the business-driven digitalization of international intervention, and human rights work via a case study of the Natalia Project. Launched in 2013 by a Swedish non-governmental organization funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the project equips selected human rights activists at risk with a digitally-driven alarm system, and acts as convenor of an online network of the activists’ supporters via Facebook and Twitter under the motto “Your attention can save lives”.

Based on the triangulation of project documentation and interviews to participating human rights as well as NGO staff, the paper interrogates the complex links between four inter-linked elements: a) the dangerous labour of local activists in countries where human rights are subject to violation, b) the donor-driven intervention at a distance of the Swedish NGO with the stated goal to protect these activists, c) the uncritical emphasis on the power of loose networks to gather protective response via social media, and d) the pilot-testing of surveillance gadgets by private business companies for market purposes in the context of a humanitarian intervention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Prague, 2018.
National Category
Social Sciences Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-39576OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-39576DiVA, id: diva2:1210863
Conference
ICA Pre-Conference:Global Media and Human Rights, May 23-24, 2018, Prague, Czech Republic
Available from: 2018-05-29 Created: 2018-05-29 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Enghel, Florencia

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf