Sunday, December 17, 2017

#InternationalHumanRights? Who Really Cares About Palestinian Human Rights? - by Rena Young

...What unifies all of these social media “efforts” is the highly questionable benefit to actual Palestinians. In the Israeli context, though, this might be the point. For many NGOs, besmirching Israel’s name is the goal, not improving the universal human rights for Palestinians and Israelis. The disconnect between real human rights work that seeks to protect all people, and hollow social media advocacy campaigns, is stark.

Rena Young..
15 December '17..

During the past decade, social media has emerged as a primary tool for activists hoping to drive change on a wide variety of topics. But although savvy social media use can help raise awareness for a given issue, more often than not, even viral messages are largely empty gestures.

As opposed to generating real change, social media is often merely a tool for “slacktivism” — internet actions that require little involvement beyond a click of the mouse, or the writing an ephemeral but clever tweet. This creates a sense of doing something positive and being part of a mass movement, but in practice, very little is accomplished — beyond feel-good moments for the participants.

December 10 marked the annual international “Human Rights Day,” which is supposedly an opportunity to take stock of the state of human rights. It’s also an opportunity to consider the role of “slacktivism” in campaigns to promote these universal values. After all, you were likely bombarded on Facebook and Twitter to “like,” “share” and “retweet” human rights-related hashtags.

The Arab-Israeli conflict, with dozens upon dozens of well-financed human rights NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and UN agencies, is rife with illustrative examples.

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