7.1 Weaponization of digital resources (Intro)

Just Digital Part 2: Taking Control, Making a Difference 7.1 Weaponization of digital resources (Intro)

Snapshot: Digital communication tools and platforms provide people
with powerful ways to build relationships and exercise human and
civil rights. They can also help spread hate, violence, and lies, and
undermine progress toward democracy. The weaponization of digital
resources typically harms ethnic and racial minorities, women, refugees
and migrants, people with disabilities, and certain religious groups.
Key terms: hate speech, fake news, disinformation, militarization.

The transformative potential—both good and bad—of digital
communication tools and technologies is enormous. On the one hand, we
find opportunities for positive change, enhanced communication rights,
creativity, and connection. On the other, there is abundant evidence
that these same digital resources will be increasingly used for violence,
destruction, and abuse. The weaponization of digital resources happens
when they are used to inflict harm and damage on people, as well as on
ecosystems and societies. Hate speech and cyberbullying further harm
people who are already vulnerable. Fake news and disinformation harm
trust in media and destabilize democracy. Massive military investment
directs resources to war and away from education, healthcare, and climate
justice. This damage is not digital alone. It easily fuels offline trauma,
violence, and death, and contributes to how, when, and why people engage
in conflicts and wars

Key terms: hate speech, fake news, disinformation, militarization.

Questions to turn into objectives:

How can we find and support trustworthy sources of information in
an age of disinformation and fake news?
y How is online abuse and bullying different from offline abuse? How
is it similar? How are the two connected?
y How can civil society, including churches and faith groups, use
counterspeech and nonviolent communication in response to hate
speech and disinformation?
y How can you protect yourself against the weaponization of digital
resources? How can you protect others in your communities and
throughout cyberspace?