Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tech Helping Black Lives Matter

The Verge explains, How Facebook Live became our new global distress signal. "This week the world has been and horrified — and captivated — by videos showing the deaths at the hands of police of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. Last night, at a demonstration protesting those deaths and the broader trend of police violence toward black people, a sniper killed five police officers and wounded seven more. Sterling’s death was captured in videos shot on mobile phones and shared later. But the deaths that came later came to us live, via Facebook’s seven-month-old live-streaming tool. Facebook came late to live streaming, after it was popularized last year by Meerkat and Twitter-owned Periscope. But Facebook’s ubiquity has made it the go-to app for anyone who suddenly becomes a witness to violence or its aftermath. In just a few weeks, it has become a new kind of SOS."

The Washington Post writes The inspiring way hundreds of Asian Americans are teaching their families about Black Lives Matter

In the Internet age, crises have a way of turning completely ordinary, unremarkable tools into tremendously powerful instruments for organizing. Think of the way Hong Kong's democracy protesters used FireChat to message one another in spite of the area's overloaded cellular networks, or how Syrian rebels turned to Skype as a way to plan their opposition.

To that list of technologies we can now add Google Docs, the simple word-processing app that on Thursday became a destination for hundreds of Americans as they tried to assemble an open letter addressing the twin shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. The authors were largely anonymous to one another. But together, and with remarkable coordination, they took advantage of Google Docs' killer feature: the ability to edit a document, in unison, in real time — something that could not have been achieved a decade ago.

Website Campaign Zero says "We Can End Police Violence In America" and offers some practical ways to help. "Campaign ZERO was developed with contributions from activists, protesters and researchers across the nation. This data-informed platform presents comprehensive solutions to end police violence in America. It integrates community demands and policy recommendations from research organizations and the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Together, we will win."

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