Social media is used to spread disinformation, incite violence and undermine peace across the globe. Despite growing attention to this issue in Europe and the United States, little attention is paid to the power of social media where it can do the most damage: countries in conflict. The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue’s Social Media and Conflict Mediation program is proposing a novel approach to address this challenge. They have built and are in the process of testing an innovative methodology that focuses on prevention: an ‘upstream’ solution to prevent harmful content before it is posted in conflict settings through the mediation of social media peace agreements. To date, their program has facilitated six innovative social media agreements in which conflict parties have agreed to reduce their engagement in harmful online behaviors such as disinformation, hate speech and narrative manipulation.
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) works to prevent and resolve armed conflicts through mediation and discreet diplomacy. Since 1999, HD has been fostering dialogue, securing peace agreements and reducing the human suffering caused by war. HD’s global reach, multi-track mediation and extensive networks allows them to work beyond the constraints of traditional diplomacy and engage all parties in pursuit of peace.
HD has facilitated six social media agreements with key political actors, developed monitoring bodies to track their adherence, and engaged closely with platforms to limit social media risks to peace.
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