Summary of USIP’s Sifting Fact from Fiction: The Role of Social Media in Conflict
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. …
Dr. Lea Shanley is the founder and former co-Chair of the Federal Community of Practice on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science, a vibrant community of 200 federal employees from more than 35 agencies. She is also a co-founding member of the Citizen Science Association. Dr. Shanley recently served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA, where she helped to foster a culture of open innovation. Prior to this, she founded and directed the Commons Lab at the Wilson Center, served in the US Senate as a Congressional Science Fellow, and worked with local and tribal communities to develop GIS-based decision support systems for city planning, natural resource management, coastal management, and disaster response through the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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