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Internet Communication Technologies Guarding the Truth in 2013-14 Ukraine

16th May 2014

 

Internet Communication Technologies Guarding the Truth in 2013-14 Ukraine

Anna Bilous (Associate at Beyond Violence)
Friday 16 May 2014
S1, Alison Richard Building

Discussant: Dr Anne Alexander (Co-ordinator of the Digital Humanities Network at the University of Cambridge, based at CRASSH, POLIS)

In autumn 2013, Ukrainian people started massive protests in favour of the European integration of Ukraine and against the corrupt Ukrainian government with Mr. Yanukovych as the head of state. The protests continued for more than 3 months, with more than 780 people reported shot, beaten to death, kidnapped and burnt. Thousands of social initiatives, on-going online debates and up to date information sharing made the outcome of the revolution possible. Ukrainian President Yanukovych ultimately decided to leave the country. Yet, when Ukraine started recovering from the shock of the violent revolution and a new government was formed, Russia brought its fully armed forces to Crimea, and then – to Eastern and Southern Ukraine. The situation is still very tense and the outcome of the conflict with Russia is unclear.

The sphere of online communication in Ukraine has rapidly reacted to the situation in the country. New social media initiatives, Facebook groups, YouTube channels, online TV streams and many more outlets helped people to share information, ask for help, prevent violence and organize their defense. Yet, there are many questions that have yet to be asked. Among them: which were the most successful ICT projects during the time of protests and conflict with Russia? How they were organized, and who were the people standing behind those initiatives? These are the queries Anna Bilous will try to address in her presentation.

During the talk, Anna will present her findings on the recent developments in the online media market in Ukraine, the usage of online media for organising social movements and will concentrate specifically on the Facebook and YouTube strategies of social activists' groups during the Euromaidan protests and open conflict with Russia.

The talk will be of particular interest to those who are keen to know more about the way Euromaidan protests of 2013-2014 influenced media and online networking culture in Ukraine, as well as those who are interested in online social activism related to the dissemination of objective information on the situation in Ukraine, and people who stand behind it.

Anna Bilous has worked as a Research Assistant on CGHR 's Politics and Interactive Media in Africa project and is now an associate at Beyond Violence – a UK-based NGO working towards non-violent conflict transformation.