SOCIAL MEDIA AND CONFLICT IN IRAQ.
AN EXPLOSION OF INTERNET USERS
Before 2003, Iraq had 12,500 internet users, no cell phones, and only a limited number of landlines. Fast forward to now there are 20 million current Iraqi internet users. While the new users mean 20 million opportunities to produce digital peace, we know from organizations like Iraq Media House that far too often these same tools are co-opted to spread messages of fear, hatred, misinformation, and violence.
This is why we focused our ninth hate speech lexicon on Iraq. Working with partners like Better World Organization, Youth Without Borders, Iraqi Network for Social Media – INSM, and Iraqi Alfourdus Organization, we collected data to contextualize inflammatory language that can lead to violence.