Summary of USIP’s Sifting Fact from Fiction: The Role of Social Media in Conflict

Model of the new USIP headquarters, designed b...

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by Zack Bastian, Communia Blog, Woodrow Wilson Center, September 22, 2011

On September 16th, 2011, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) held a series of panel discussions as part of their Blogs and Bullets initiative.  The four groups of commentators, including digital activists, analysts, and policymakers, reflected on the enormous interest in social media and its power as an engine of social and political change.  Despite its potential, and the often hyperbolic claims made about its impact, the participants cautioned against overestimating the power of social media and acknowledged its limitations.

The first panel was moderated by Sheldon Himelfarb of the USIP. It included Sean Aday, Henry Farrell, Marc Lynch, and John Sides of George Washington University, Brian Eoff of Bit.Ly, and Deen Freelon of American University.  Their discussion began with an examination of how new-media has helped to develop innovative competencies, effectively empowering on-the-ground correspondents during the Arab Spring. …

For full text of the article, visit the Communia Blog.  For more information about the conference, visit USIP’s Website.

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