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2020-06-07

How communication technology contributes to bringing people together in global protests

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Peoples are using a range of technological tools to hold rallies, register police violence, and communicate in marches over the USA and other countries after George Floyd 's death.

In some cases, secure messaging services such as WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram can encrypt messages for evading spies. These applications are increasing in popularity, together with others that listen to police scanners and video recording.

Experts say that comfort and reach are essential. "The number one criterion for which someone will use the platform is to reach as much people as possible," said Steve Jones, Chicago media researcher at the University of Illinois studying communications technology.

This means Instagram,Twitter , Facebook are the easiest way to organize and document mass protests. The tools on Facebook remain popular despite the flow of criticism of the platform's inaction following the message that protesters in Minneapolis might be shot by President Donald Trump.

Sarah Wildman, who had been to three protests in Atlanta and had usedInstagram exclusively to locate and document the manifestations she attended, said, "I do not wish to support nor to be part of something that may be in support of Trump and its racist hatred filed spew. However, at this point, she said she felt "Instagram's benefits don't outweigh it."

Telegram, which allows private messages to be sent to thousands of people at once, is also used by organizers to create channels for cities to update protest times and locations and updates on where police are arrested or held. One telegram from New York City for protests grew by Friday, starting from just under 300 subscribers on Monday, to almost 2,500.

Rhode Island, 32, an Anjel Newmann, said on Friday during a peaceful rally in Providence that younger people use Snapchat while she mostly uses Instagram and Facebook to organize the rally. The main question is: what online flyers are legitimate is difficult to tell. "We didn't figure out yet that's one of the things," she told us. "Today was canceled, there was a flyer going around.

The simplicity of the shooting and the video sharing has also enabled violence to be recorded in millions of instants. The broad outrage that led to protests was sparked by a smartphone video of Floyd 's death.

One of the new users is Toby Anderson, who was 30 on Friday. Anderson, the biracial person, said several days earlier at his mom's request that the encrypted Signal app be downloaded. "In America, she's a black lady," he said, worried about his security and keen to grasp any extra safety measure she could.

In one of ADL's telegrams, participants suggested assassinating protesters and rumors that the police sniper had been accused of the deaths.

She knew she had to go when a friend shared a Facebook post with Michelle Burris inviting her last Saturday to protest in downtown Washington , DC. And before marching on the streets of the district with a sign "no justice, no peace," she bought a Black Lives Matter mask from a street vendor. She pulled up information on Instagram after the march ended, for a demonstration by a caravan a couple of blocks away. "It was extremely powerful and not just Facebook, but Instagram," Burris said.

Article Edited by | Jhon H |

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