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APC member organisation 7amleh - The Arab Center for Social Media Advancement has announced the opening of registration for the fifth edition of the Palestine Digital Activism Forum, which will be the biggest digital event focusing on Palestinian digital rights ever. The PDAF will last for four days between 29 March and April 1 of this year. The forum will shed light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Palestinian digital rights, and the future of these rights in the post-pandemic era, through a number of policy sessions, digital dialogues and training workshops aimed at building the professional capacity of participants in various fields.

The PDAF is being held this year with the participation of major social media companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as a number of UN, international, regional and local institutions. It will host more than 70 speakers and trainers from different fields, to share with us their different experiences and expertise within the various forum activities.

The activities of the forum will begin on Monday 29 March 2021. The activities of the first and second days focus on a set of policy sessions that discuss the issues of Palestinian digital rights, with the participation of representatives of social media companies and a group of inspiring speakers who will share their experiences with the PDAF audience, such as Noura Erikat and Amer Zaher. The activities of the third and fourth day will mainly focus on various and diverse evening training sessions, workshops and digital dialogues aimed at building and enriching the professional capabilities of the participants in various fields.

Forum agenda

The first day of the forum features three policy sessions. The first deals with the issue of the privacy of medical data and discusses the problem of protecting medical data and violations of privacy in light of the pandemic. The second discusses the topic of misleading news and the tools to combat it, and tackles the issue of fighting this type of news and its impact on freedom of expression in Palestine by hosting representatives from Twitter and UNESCO and Palestinian academics. Finally, the third session deals with the future of digital activism in the Arab and Palestinian areas, with an exploration of regional and local experiences to discuss digital activism in the Arab region and the points of intersection between them. In addition to these policy sessions, Noura Erikat, an inspiring speaker, shares her experience with content monitoring through social media platforms, and an evening session that discusses the role of artificial intelligence: prejudice, racism and social change.

Based on 7amleh’s belief in the importance of digital campaigns, and its continuous work on building the capacities of civil society organisations and activists to build digital campaigns, it will present an award during the PDAF’s first day to the digital campaign that was perceived as the best launched during the previous year and left a positive impact on the Palestinian digital space.

The sessions of the second day will be rich in international and diaspora participation, in addition to the giant technology companies. The first session discusses the Palestinian narrative in the era of digitisation, while the second session deals with surveillance techniques in Palestine and around the world and discusses the expansion of the use of these technologies globally, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic under the pretext of public safety. The third session discusses the reality of data protection in Palestine and the Arab region. In addition to these sessions, the PDAF will host Instagram in a workshop on using the platform as a tool for social change, in addition to a Q&A session about content management policies and their impact on the Palestinian context with representatives of Facebook. The Palestinian-American comedian Amer Zaher will join us as an inspiring speaker to share his experience and talk about the challenges that Palestinians face in the digital space by narrowing the space for freedom of expression.

The third and fourth days of this year’s PDAF include a series of training workshops in partnership and cooperation with a group of local and international partners and giant technology companies and will be facilitated by experts. These workshops include one that will be conducted in cooperation with Facebook regarding the value of the Facebook and Instagram platforms for entrepreneurial projects. There will be another workshop with Twitter on the use of the platform in advocacy and social change, in addition to other workshops covering issues of digital advocacy, documenting human rights violations digitally, data visualisation, news coverage of digital rights issues, verifying false news, digital training, digital safety for parents, and various other workshops.

In addition, there will be a group of dialogues discussing different and various topics such as social media at the time of elections, how social media platforms contributed to stereotyping the image of women, and archiving Palestinian history and memory.

Register now!

7amleh invites you to hurry and register to reserve your “seats” to participate in the Palestine Digital Activism Forum 2021. For more details about our programme and how to register, please visit the PDAF website here.