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Digital Media and Freedom of Expression: Experiences, Challenges, Resolutions
The advent of the digital media has brought new challenges and opportunities. It has flattened the hierarchies of communication and reshaped the relationship between the authorities and the wider public in society. Access to all sorts of new technologies has made it possible for anyone to engage in public debate. As a result, although it may be perceived differently, threats to freedom of speech are becoming increasingly apparent. Based on interviews with prominent political and social figures, this qualitative study found out that the existing structures of communication are challenging democracy and the human rights. The findings shed the light on some of the tools used by certain malevolent actors whose objective is to silence free media, create a threatening environment for journalists, and use democratic digital platforms for violent behavior and infiltration. Discussions focus on social media threats in a hostile and divided environment. Some strategies and policies are therefore suggested as they can be useful to increase awareness, control and prevent the influence and extent of e-violence while promoting freedom of expression. The spiral of violence is to be remedied by the spiral of Action and non-silence.
May Chidiac, Mireille Chidiac El Hajj
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