Smith: Could the spread of information via digital media reduce mass atrocities?

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31 October, 2011
By: Gordon Smith
Executive Director of the Centre for Global Studies and CIGI Distinguished Fellow

There is no question about it. Digital media produce awareness, and awareness is essential to stopping mass atrocities. Visit the website of the Enough Project. At the MIGSR2P conference last week Jon Hutson described the work they are doing, and in particular I discussed with him the Sentinel Satellite Project. It uses photographs that provide the same resolution as the best satellite imagery that was available only in the intelligence world a couple of decades ago. Look as well at the Ushahidi Project which “develops free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping.” There is the explosion of video enabled cell phones, combined with GPS for location as well as a date/time stamp. There is an enormous amount of information available; it needs to be organized, presented and distributed. That’s happening. It is all about bearing witness, and the digital revolution provides enormous resources to facilitate wide spread knowledge, the necessary basis for action.

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