Virtual Lecture – Responses to Polarization Archetypes on Social Media

Wednesday 30 March 2022, 10:00 am – 11:00 am EST, online (Washington DC, USA)


Featuring Julie Hawke, Mira El Mawla, Caleb Gichuhi and Helena Puig Laurrari.

The presentation of online hate signals the structure and intensity of societal divisions, but when these seeds of discord are planted, what constitutes a fertile soil to grow and spread? This presentation examines the composition of online polarization as a conducive environment that can determine the scale and impact of online hate. Analyzing polarized social media environments in the US, Lebanon, and Kenya, we annotate archetypes of polarization and how they function on social media along with the strategies, entry points, and priorities these archetypes illuminate for intervention. Drawing on four years of interventions towards online de-polarization in the U.S. with the Commons Project and in Kenya with the Maskani project, we share outcomes and lessons for digital peacebuilding applicable to polarized online environments across conflict contexts.


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