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P370


Live from the frontlines: the mediation of armed conflict through online platforms 
Convenors:
Yarden Skop (University of Siegen)
Sarah Rüller (University of Siegen)
Houda El mimouni (Indiana University)
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Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel brings together researchers interested in the mediation of wars to discuss media’s influence on current violent conflicts, e.g. the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israel-Palestine war. We explore critical approaches to war and media, with a focus on presenters from conflict regions.

Long Abstract:

Armed conflicts and media technologies are tied together in modern warfare. The rise in the use of social media, owned by large technology platforms, in the ongoing conduct of wars, in their documentation and in influencing different actors in ways that transform warfare, raises many questions. During current wars in Ukraine and Palestine and Israel, new media technologies have been used to sway global public opinion, to expose and document human rights violations, to challenge narratives promoted by legacy media and state actors and to document life under fire or experiences of combatants. At the same time, Social Media platforms are being weaponized - for the spread of disinformation, propaganda and psychological warfare by state and non-state actors. Platform companies are tasked with moderating masses of content, leading to claims of unjust treatment and censorship.

We are interested in contributions that address issues such as:

How is social media becoming part of military tactics and used for geopolitical influence (through hacking, bot wars, and the spread of disinformation)?

How is content moderation online weaponized for silencing dissenting voices under the guise of security issues?

The rise of OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) as a mode of investigating truths on the battlefield.

How can STS researchers develop a critical approach and theory towards war and its media technologies?

Actors’ choice of terminology and its implications, also with regard to the spread of narratives online (war, invasion, occupation, military operation, genocide, annexation).

What challenges does this provide in terms of digital and information literacy and connectivity for people who follow the events of war online?

Also, with a view towards more optimistic outcomes - can media technology be used for conflict resolution and how?

We ask to center this on scholars from regions under war and conflict, while also inviting others to contribute.

Accepted papers: