Time and Tide — and Twitter Trends — Wait for None

The oppressed have been silenced and unheard for as long as oppression has existed. But the rapid changes in communications in recent years are transforming the nature of what it means to be unheard. Before social media, public discourse about poverty and injustice remained highly controlled: by publishing magnates, professional lobbyists, and a handful of prominent journalists and academics. Today, with almost two and a half billion people enjoying access to the internet, the din of new voices jumping onto the giant global soapbox is growing louder by the minute.

Plenty of good has been coming out of today’s empowerment through crowd-sourcing of information and ideas. Never before have so many people had the chance to be heard by so many others. Everyone, from union organizers to political campaigners to artists, can now engage directly with the public without even pounding the pavement.

But communication remains skewed away from the voices of people in extreme poverty... Read more at: http://togetherindignity.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/time-and-tide-and...

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Tags: Arundhati, Honduras, Roy, Twitter, communication, oppression, silence

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Comment by Valentine Olushola Oyedipe on August 3, 2014 at 9:36am

That's very right Mr Al.Top-down Bottom -up approach across functional organizations.

Comment by Diana Skelton on August 2, 2014 at 3:23pm

Liking your comment very much, Al.

Comment by Al LeBlanc on August 2, 2014 at 3:09pm

Diana & Valentine:  The original message focused on the "oppressed.....and almost two and a half billion enjoying access to the internet .........never before have so many people had the chance to be heard by so many others."  Although "communications remains skewed away from the voices of people in extreme poverty....."   While I agree there are multi-faceted stakeholders:  government, non-government, international organizations, religious organizations, universities, corporations, peace/environment/health/antinuclear    

etal organizations , the greatest power  is the synchronous collective power of "usall -bottom up -top down - across functional organizations.  Go Cyberpeacefare !

Comment by Diana Skelton on August 2, 2014 at 2:21pm

Agreed!

Comment by Valentine Olushola Oyedipe on August 2, 2014 at 11:07am

Thanks Diana,I did mentioned supportive agents which I believe includes the bureaucracies you have mentioned and ordinary citizens in addition to the role of the State as they are all stake holders.However, the State still plays very significant roles in the multifaceted endeavor to alleviate poverty in the State as the State is superior to the individual and other bureaucracies.And in turn these bureaucracies must not shirk away from the moral responsibilities to the citizenry such that their voices will be heard for better.....Corporate Social Responsibility.Interestingly, most if not all of these bureaucracies make use of the media a great deal.

Comment by Diana Skelton on August 2, 2014 at 10:40am

Your comment is interesting. But the State is not the only one who can play a role. In many countries, ordinary citizens and non-profit groups can also do much more to make it possible for people in poverty to be heard. And I wonder about the role of multinational corporations. This is not at all something they've ever done, but they have so much control over labor conditions and the information that reaches consumers. How can they too be challenged to allow room for more voices to be heard?

Comment by Valentine Olushola Oyedipe on August 2, 2014 at 7:07am

I quite agree with you Diana, we need to create the conditions for people in poverty who do not have access to media such that their voices could be raised.I think this can only be achieved by the State and its machinery and in addition, its supportive agents the Civil Societies.Thus the moral conscience of the actors in these institutions(who have access to the media) are strongly appealed to do what is morally good and morally imperative for the common good of humanity. Meeting the needs of the under privileged in any society starts from the policy instruments of the State and the policy of a State reflects the thinking of the State. Hence, the "mind of the State" must be put in a perpetual state of moral consciousness of the yearnings and aspirations of  its citizenry by being morally responsible at all time.This suggesting overall,that media and practical endeavors must go pari pasu.

Comment by Diana Skelton on July 31, 2014 at 11:47am

Thanks for commenting! It's true that collective cyber-outrage can be a force for peace and social justice. But I'm also worried that, as well-meaning as many posts may be, too often they also play to stereotypes and speak "in the name of" people who still don't have access to social media. We need to create the conditions for people in poverty to be able to raise their own voices.

Comment by Al LeBlanc on July 31, 2014 at 8:21am

Diana: Thanks for sharing !   Agree the internet/social media has empowered "us all", to be heard world wide in cyberspace.  With so much cruelty, death and destruction out there, seems to me individuals of conscience should be outraged and exercise their concerted personal cyberpeacepower.  Al

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