Closer than ever
APC understands that we are all dealing with unprecedented circumstances as we face the challenges, fear and uncertainty brought on by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know it impacts our work, our personal lives and the lives of those we care about. Each country is tackling the situation differently, so the contexts we find ourselves in are as diverse as the ways we find to navigate shifting conditions.
In these exceptional times, we wish to send our solidarity and appreciation for connecting with us. While we are distancing ourselves physically, we continue to stay closer than ever to each other and share tools and resources as well as support. We also want to examine how we can continue to promote human rights online in the context of a global pandemic. We are all facing this problem together but we know it affects different countries and communities in different ways. Therefore, we would like to channel the strength of our network to share some important resources that we hope will be empowering, enlightening and reassuring.
Below you will find articles and insights shared by our community, which has been working on human rights and technology issues for over 30 years. We will be updating these lists on a regular basis, so please feel free to connect with us if you have some resources to share.
The COVID-19 pandemic is no longer just a global health crisis but one with widespread implications across all sectors of society. We always hear daily reminders on how to practice proper physical hygiene. But beyond your personal hygiene, have you thought about your “digital hygiene”?
The Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) warns of the proliferation of COVID-19-related fake news on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as other ways in which misinformation is spread in rural areas.
The internet is the primary source of information on the global COVID-19 pandemic. But Arakan in western Myanmar is currently experiencing the longest-running internet shutdown in the world, and the lack of access to information could put an already vulnerable population in a dangerous situation.
APC joined the #KeepItOn coalition and 41 international rights groups from around the world in an open letter urgently calling on the government of India to restore access to 4G high-speed internet access as a first step towards the containment of the COVID-19 virus and related health needs.
In terms of the expansion of 5G technology, there are big public policy implications , which are about national resources as well as digital investment.
The world is suddenly and radically changed, but it is not the radical change we had hoped for. Here we share what we believe is important for us to continue working towards a feminist internet as a part of our collective and hopeful futures.
APC joined dozens of other organisations and researchers to call on social media companies to enable future research and analysis about the “infodemic” side of COVID-19 by preserving information about what their systems are automatically blocking and taking down.
The open letter, signed by APC and other civil society organisations, emphasises the fundamental importance of ensuring transparency and adequately assessing the human rights impact of any public-private partnerships that the UN may enter into, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While social media sites tend to respond slowly or not at all to misinformation on their platforms, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have taken steps to address and stop the spread of misinformation, as well as to steer users towards reliable sources of information and support.
Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment (VOICE), an APC member organisation in Bangladesh, argues that an inclusive approach featuring all sectors of society is required to beat COVID-19.