Tapping Into Tech for Human Rights and Human Welfare

The consideration of internet access as a human right has been topical as of late.  But before we get to that, I think sharing this humourous image* (an update to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) recently circulated online is a good start (and indeed related):

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Comically (and in many ways unfortunately), for those of us who are used to being digitally connected and logging on to our social media sites, WiFi access seems almost like our life blood and fundamental need before even our physiological needs at times. However, not everyone has access to the power of the internet.

Is the internet a fundamental human right?  As vice.com cites, “Amnesty (International) argues that technology is transforming society so completely, it’s forcing the notion of ‘a human right’ to evolve. The UN even released a special report on how important the internet is, ‘not only to enable individuals to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression, but also a range of other human rights, and promote the progress of society as a whole.”

Companies like Facebook and Google are working on bridging the connectivity gap in areas of the globe without such access.  Is this to ensure equity? To facilitate the process of keeping up with contemporary life? Or is it about business and economic progress?  Or maybe all of the above?  Check out the full article:  Why We Think the Internet Is a Human Right.

And while we’re thinking about global access to tech tools, an interesting article recently posted on dowser.org highlighted how innovative tech tools can be instrumental in initiatives to prevent atrocities in the world.  The piece shares info on winners of an innovative tech challenge and illustrates how modern online and mobile tools help collect data, catalogue stories, and build awareness–ultimately to create impact.  Continue to article–Powerful Tech: New Innovations to Fight Rape, Murder, and Atrocities

StoryMaker-Brian

* I’m not sure of the original source of the image shared at the top of this blog but it could be from mdcounselling.

Mass reactions to documented bullying shared online

You may have already seen or heard about this vicious bullying incident (it must be more than a single incident).  While we know that the internet and social media are often used for targeting behaviour and cyberbullying, here’s a scenario where the internet and social media were used to quickly publicize and draw attention to the bullying of a hearing-impaired grandmother (a school bus monitor) by several young people.

I’m not sure that the internet “saved” the bullied bus monitor as the article headline states but it certainly rallied for a mass public reaction (and outrage) against verbal abuse, psychological harassment, and disturbing, unacceptable behaviour.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/social-media-bus-monitor_n_1616805.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

More innovative and strategic initiatives using the internet and social media to prevent bullying and harassment would be great so it’s not so much having to react to awful incidents like this.

Here’s another link to a more detailed article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/greece-school-district-bullied-footage-causes-outrage_n_1612925.html