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Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

‘Women Should Be Submissive', and Other Google Autocomplete Suggestions
Global Voices

“A series of ads by UN Women, revealed in late October, used the Google Autocomplete feature to uncover widespread negative attitudes toward women. Global Voices followed reactions to the UN Women campaign and conducted its own experiment in different languages. The results of searches conducted both within the UN Women campaign and Global Voices revealed popular attitudes not only about women’s social and professional roles, but also about their sexuality, appearance and relationships with men.

The creators of the UN Women ads used search phrases like “women cannot”, “women shouldn’t”, “women should” and “women need to” completed by genuine Google search terms to highlight overwhelmingly negative stereotypes, sexist and highly discriminatory views held about women by society globally. The ads quickly went viral and sparked a heated discussion online. Last week, creators have announced that they are planning to expand the campaign in response to the mass online reaction.”  READ MORE

'Only 17% of the population feel their governments listens to them'
Global Development Professional Network 

“More than 1,500 members from government and civil society organisations are gathering in London this week for the annual summit of the Open Government Partnership.

The OGP is an equal partnership with the civil society. It was set up in 2011 to encourage an open dialogue between government and civil society organiations with regard to the priorities and commitments for open government. This demands civil society to be prepared and co-ordinated before sitting to talk with government.”  READ MORE

The Internet and the rule of law
Democracy Digest

“Authoritarian regimes are seeking new ways to control, censor or block the emerging powers of their citizens to express themselves on the Internet, says Carl Bildt.

But surveillance activities in democratic states cannot automatically be given free rein, he writes for The New York Times:

Recent events have clearly shown that it is time to start an international dialogue on this issue. Let’s begin by defining the seven principles that should govern state surveillance operations on the Internet.”  READ MORE 

Governments must harness tech to drive transparency and minimise corruption

“Transparency is an idea whose time has come. People around the world are demanding much greater openness, democracy and accountability from their governments. Transparency fights corruption, it holds government to account and drives better public services.

The UK Government is already global leader on transparency in international development, but we're not resting on our laurels. That is why we launched the full version of the Development Tracker, which we have spent the last few months testing in beta. We built this tool because we believe it should be possible for anyone, anywhere to track our aid spending right through the system -- from the taxpayer to the beneficiaries.”  READ MORE

The Many Types of Online Censorship
HuffPost Tech

“Internet censorship comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. We often think of it as the "Great Firewall of China," which blocks access to websites with banned content. But internet censorship takes many other forms. It ranges from physical assaults on journalists who publish exposes of corruption online to cyber-attacks on the websites of human rights groups and prosecution of webmasters for comments that other users post on their platform.

In the face of ongoing revelations about extensive snooping by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), censorship abroad may seem like yesterday's problem. These revelations are troubling, but there is a broader array of threats to internet freedom around the world, and those threats are extensive and are growing, as documented in Freedom House's report Freedom on the Net 2013.”  READ MORE

Ethics and Risk in Open Development
Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

“Ethics around ‘opt in’ and ‘opt out’ when working with people in communities with fewer resources, lower connectivity, and/or less of an understanding about privacy and data are tricky. Yet project implementers have a responsibility to work to the best of their ability to ensure that participants understand what will happen with their data in general, and what might happen if it is shared openly.

There are some concerns around how these decisions are currently being made and by whom. Can an NGO make the decision to share or open data from/about program participants? Is it OK for an NGO to share ‘beneficiary’ data with the private sector in return for funding to help make a program ‘sustainable’? What liabilities might donors or program implementers face in the future as these issues develop?”  READ MORE

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