LAGOS, NIGERIA—Because of my work in digital communications (social media, less fancifully) for the federal government, I have in the last four years divided my time between Lagos, which I consider home, and Abuja, the federal capital. It’s now clear, however, that I will spend the next few weeks in Lagos—my longest stretch here in years—obeying the #StayAtHome message that now seems to encapsulate the fastest and surest way to defeat this stubborn virus.
That message has been the eureka! for me in Lagos in the last couple of days. It’s where all the public information energy should go, for a viral disease for which there is really no treatment, only the management of symptoms.… Seguir leyendo »
When Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared with his (then) 101,545,240 followers that his New Year’s resolution for 2018 was “to fix” Facebook, one might have asked, “Fix it for whom?” It is a question with a number of possible answers: for its shareholders, who saw growth level off in the last year and young people turning to other social media platforms; for its users, who saw their personal information appropriated by political operatives and sometimes used against them in insidious ways; or for the public more generally, which is living with the consequences of that appropriation and with the proliferation of propaganda, camouflaged as legitimate news, not only in the United States, but in countries such as Burma and South Sudan, where Facebook-generated “fake news” has been used to instigate ethnic violence.… Seguir leyendo »
As tens of thousands of people across the United States rushed to airports and took to the streets to protest Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration by Muslims from seven countries, and refugees generally; as four federal judges issued emergency orders to prevent immediate deportations and sixteen state attorney generals made a rare joint statement calling the president’s action “unconstitutional, un-American, and unlawful”—we recalled a refugee we’d met not long ago from Nepal, where he’d spent more than a decade in a refugee camp. Resettled in New Hampshire, he was working several jobs, having already learned English and gotten a degree as a surgical technician.… Seguir leyendo »