2015 April Nairobi

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digital migration is bad for communities

disagree: the world is moving. we should just go with it.
we shouldn't stay in the dark.
people should only move on if they want to.
they'll be more connected. it's accessible even to grandma in rural areas. gives success to everyone.
economic prospect - we will be paying.

your online identity should be as anonymous as possible

agree: should be anonymous for safety purposes. you never know. there are bad people.
don't know why a social platform should have anonymity
your name, DOB, email means 3rd party sites already have a profile which they can create a marketing platform off of. targeted interferes with privacy
what has anonymity done to us? we want to be able to crack down on the people who are dangerous!
no reason for anyone to have my business.

should countries be allowed to create nuclear weapons?

recycling plant in Mombasa. whole community just disappearing. nothing is happening. But if we make these weapons, how will we contain that?
there are enemies. Like al Shabab.
but al Shabab isn't Somali. We don't know where to drop it!
Kenya needs to be a superpower

Everything on the wall

Safe Space

My real name, school, old friends - it's safe because people know who they're talking to.

Safe space as a WhatsApp channel which is closed. Don't know everyone, but know what's happening.

Creating tools, self expression. Talking about controversial issues. Speak to people you already know. Have so as many pseudonyms as possible - one for mfailiy, one for political, etc. That helps with safety so you don't rub shoulders in a bad ways.

but if you're anonymous, how do people find you?
if your content is good, people will follow.

How safe is a safe space?

woman posted something online, got sacked because her manager saw it.

Media comments - if you make a comment, 200 people descend on you.

Pseudonyms can help create that safe space. If you know me as someone kind, and I'm bashing the government, eyebrows raise. I'm this other person who is very calm, cool, and collected. Times I want to be more forthright, to say things... but I step back. Because this government, they'll come for me.

can limit the level of advocacy, the points you're trying to get across. If you hide behind a different name, you can't sign petitions.
you can come out as your avatar.

Ok to adopt more personalities?

yes. you know who you are. This account is for being a daughter, this one is for being a student...

Work on accommodating, instead of bashing. If someone says something you disagree with, to have a good conversation. Workshops around changing culture -- just because you disagree with my comment, we can still be civil. Self expression.

shifting culture takes time. how do you balance that in the meantime?
trying to accommodate other people's opinions. politicians blocking people they're supposed to be representing!

Disagree in a respectful way. We know how to react to things. Don't need to escalate - take some time off to release your tension. Self-regulation.

stepping away isn't always the solution, tho.

Should be guidelines for interactions.

open for criticism, you might get bashed, don't take it personally.

Channels/paths of expression as what creates safe space. Closed groups, mailing lists, etc.

then you're not expressing yourself freely, only expressing to those who already agree with you.
hard to find those groups if you're not already in those groups.

Cross-platform communication : how to do safety there?

Moderators for posts

if it's not relevant, it doesn't get posted.
sets expectations, rules of engagement

Saving face

having online debates means anyone can see it?
unlikely to admit defeat in an argument when there's an audience
either apologize or retract when insulting with an audience
people are much more careful online because of Kenyans On Twitter (#kot)

Should we quit using certain tools for certain ends?

openness of platform - we can see what people think and say! As opposed to parliament, where were don't know what people are saying.
tools are complimentary. take something actionabile offline.

Ownership of sides - like in sports - it's my team. Like I play with them. Take that into other spaces -- an argument, suddenly it's you. But there are no rules of engagement.

following what you see other people doing. see it as possible to yourself.
all these tools, we teach ourselves. no one is teaching us.
people are teaching you even before you join.

safe foyer

Admin taking people into a side bar conversation. Social, not just technical. Ensure people read, understand the information coming up.

most admins have viewpoints.
have community moderators.
but admins have responsibilities.

It's like a debate, how do ou know which side folk are on?

debate should only involve the relevant people

Threshold from foyer to public, if people aren't listening to issues.

Conversations about transparency in politics

need to translate between what happens online and offline.

conversations about Somali interactions on Twitter

Can we make a Storify on both the conversations that stuck to the issues, and a storify of where it was derailed?


Mitigating Online Violence

How does violence go between online and offline? How should we handle ourselves online? How can we best interact online without offending anyone? Is online escalation different in different locations, or is it all one big internet?

The followers are the ones who escalate the conversations where there are issues with leaders disagreeing. Someone with 300k followers, someone with 83k. How can we make a meaningful conversation out of all the noise being created? Want to introduce is channeling all this to something positive. Want to have a live debate on google hangout. Track/map the conversations going on -- get the people having the debate around it to directly interact with each other. Filter the noise from the real conversation. People who have the facts, bring them together, have a real conversation. This will help people stop misusing the tools. Bring the conversations to a face-off where we can talk.

Before you even get to your next tweet, there are conversations happening on the first one. How do we deal with unstructured conversations versus structured?

Address the issues of a limited tool. Balance of spectators. Calling your audience out if they're escalating.

Harness positive conversations.


Who is watching what I share with my friends on SMS (Airtel, Safaricom, etc)? Can be positive or negative - if someone has been stalking you, and you want to show it, you can access the logs.

Software you can install on other people's phone so you can see what they're doing. Supposedly to catch cheating partners. Can see what you shared, who you talked to.

How best to filter and track violent communication online?

Twitter, Facebook, instagram, etc. Can we have an open source algorithm which filters out hate speech etc, but tracks what you didn't have?

Geolocation - is it safe for me to use geolocation?

It's not safe. Showing where people are clustered for terrorist attacks. Also the metadata increases your vulnerability in online space.

Internet safety other than passwords

myshadow.org informs you on how you're exposing yourself. Facebook, twitter, etc - who are they selling your data to? But you can also see tools which will help protect your privacy.
keypass, 1password, etc makes different passwords for each account, while you only remember one.

TV viewership versus privacy - how do you control the content you watch?

digital migration issues are not just about access, also about security. Can't pay with cash, have to pay with a card linked to your person.
how can we de-link our email and phone numbers from our viewership?

Safe space and tools

Defining safe space: found a definition (added to Checklist for making safe space, as are many other notes). "The only safe space is when your device is unplugged."

example of hidden spaces kept safe for gay community. Then how do others find it?
how long does it last? You might have it in an ongoing way, or based on incidents.

Can we have an open but also safe space?

If everyone is respecting me, is it just going to be boring?

Safe space so far as sexual harassment.

How do people get to be included? Just walking in? Have to prove commitment?

how are people added or excluded?
how are people re-integrated?
how do we make sure it doesn't become cliquish?
how do we know when violations are happening?

Access level of passwords can exclude people. When is that ok, when isn't it?

How is that data stored?

right now, Facebook is stored all the way back to 2009. Would safe space mean deleting history over time? But what about patterns of violation of safe space?

Possible Tools or Projects

Trolling the Trolls

automation of language detection, processing, and response to trolling comments.

Meaningful debate WITH an audience

Face Off proposes to create space for more in-depth conversation, otherwise impossible in short-form space.

Building Storifys to exemplify arguments

Guides for tool makers

How to create a tool which helps support equity.

Rules of Engagement