I’m currently teaching a crash course called ‘Understanding Social Media’ for students following a Masters in Humanitarian Action at the University of Malta. On the 30th April, the seminar is open to NGOs in Malta – there’s a Concept Note here.
There’s nothing new about NGOs and non-profits trying to put social media to good use – there’s a post that dates back to 2010 on this blog. Yet much has changed since then – from ubiquitous, affordable smart phones as our second skin to Facebook’s social graphs, the rise of trolls and the celebration of distraction. My own position has also shifted significantly – let’s just say that my trust in the good intentions of social platforms, algorithms, big data and ‘participation’ is not what it used to be. All media has become ‘social’ and permeable, and not necessarily for the common good.
And yet: ordinary people, often at great personal risk, continue to use social technologies to give a voice to the oppressed, the forgotten and the irregular. And occasionally disrupt the majority neo-liberal discourse.
On Saturday, Mark Micallef, Executive Editor of Migrant Report will join me as we attempt to navigate mindfully around social networks and the opportunities and contradictions associated with digital literacies and online humanitarian action.
If you’re in Malta and have some interest in non-profits and social media, please join us, by sending an email to Joe Debono at the Department of International Relations.