Browsing articles tagged with " twitter"
Apr 19, 2012
Center for Democracy and Civil Society

Enter the 2012 D&S T-Shirt Slogan Contest!

You’re a DG wonk and proud of it. But how many articles of clothing do you own that really put it out there? That’s why Democracy & Society, in conjunction Georgetown’s Democracy and Governance Studies program, is excited to announce its first-ever t-shirt slogan contest.

On Friday, April 20th, from 10:00am until midnight EST, our Twitter and email hotlines are open to hear your best DG-centric slogans. Got any one-liners that really stick it to the man about the awesomeness of the DG field? Any catchphrases that make you snort milk out of your nose when you hear them? Any slogans that would get you high-fives when jogging outside the Ronald Reagan Building?

We’ll pick our favorite entry to be printed on t-shirts. And, yes, the winner will have this snappy new wardrobe item hand-delivered (within the DC area) or mailed directly to them.

How do I enter?
1. On Twitter, tweet entries to @GeorgetownDG or with the hashtag #DGslogans anytime on Friday, April 20th.
2. Via email, send entries to with the subject “Slogan Contest.”

The contest is open to anyone, not just DG professionals or Georgetown students. Good luck! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Nov 4, 2011
Center for Democracy and Civil Society

Tweet, Tweet: You’re Dead

This is certainly a first. Late last week the Kenyan military took to Twitter to warn Somali towns of an imminent offensive against al-Shabab. From the Al-Jazeera article which was one of the first to cover the story:

Major Emmanuel Chirchir, the Kenyan military spokesman, said on his Twitter account that residents of Baidoa, Baadheere, Baydhabo, Dinsur, Afgoye, Bwale, Barawe, Jilib, Kismayo and Afmadow that their towns are under imminent attack.

Chirchir said that anyone with relatives and friends in the towns should be advised accordingly.

The Kenyan military said that it will attack 10 Somali towns where it believes al-Shabab has a presence and advised civilians to stay away from al-Shabab camps or being used as conduits for weapons.

Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste, speaking from Nairobi, said that while it is not unusual for the Kenyan government to make such warnings before attacks, the use of social media to do so is, however, something novel.

Bringing social media into protocol “advance warning” by a government has interesting implications for the future of civilian casualties in conventional warfare. Customary international humanitarian law makes it clear that the attacking force should give such a warning before an assault which may have civilian ramifications. “Effective advance warning shall be given of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit,” is what the Geneva Conventions officially say.

These standards aren’t new, obscure, or hippy-dippy; advance warning through traditional methods has been standard practice even before 20th century warfare. In modern times it was first codified in Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 “Lieber Code”: “Commanders, whenever admissible, inform the enemy of their intention to bombard a place, so that the noncombatants, and especially the women and children, may be removed before the bombardment commences.” But in Lincoln’s days (when it was prudent, of course) these commanders would send a messenger to a town on horseback to warn a centralized local figure; villagers wouldn’t get a pop-up in their inbox letting them know directly. While improvements to this practice came over time with the adoption of radio, television, and Internet, a “middleman” has always held some sort of role in advance warning.

The use of social media by governments to carry out advance warning effectively cuts out this middleman, a shift which is certainly a step in the right direction. When information doesn’t have to be filtered through a chain of command, reaction time can be reduced and lives may ultimately be saved. The egalitarian essence of public information like this also ensures, at least on its face, that no single group will be excluded from receiving it.

But the official use of social media to warn civilians of military offensives may not be all rainbows and butterflies. One unsettling possibility is that a public broadcast runs the risk of endorsing hatred and violence against the target. It is not difficult to imagine the role social media would have played in the Rwandan genocide, where Hutu radio and print media fueled killings through hate speech and direct calls to action. If the climate was right, an initial government advance warning tweet might signal an offensive among a country’s own citizens towards a minority population.

Regardless of its potential for “good” or “evil”, one thing is for sure here: the social media explosion is changing the way we do absolutely everything.

Feb 21, 2011
Center for Democracy and Civil Society

A better way to talk about social media?

Apropos of David’s recent post, I think that Mark Sedra offers a reasonable analysis of the role of social media in Egypt’s and Tunisia’s revolutions:

Facebook and Twitter certainly aren’t solely responsible for the growing wave of revolutionary ferment in the Arab world; pent-up frustrations had been bubbling for some time. But they helped to channel that frustration into action. The first major demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt were organized via Facebook and Twitter, with activist leaders directing followers where to congregate and how to avoid blockades. Those gatherings then snowballed, drawing in citizens from all walks of life.

Short version: Mediums don’t organize, but can help facilitate organization.

Dec 31, 2010
Center for Democracy and Civil Society

2010 in Review

Once again, we’ve spent the year expanding D&S.   We have new contributors, including David, Elizabeth and Imara, D&S is now on Facebook, we published the Spring 2010 issue, with the Fall issue on the way, the complete archives are now available, we added a page of special reports from the CDACS and DG staff and students and we continued to provide quality snark and commentary on foreign affairs and international development.

Here’s a brief review to ring out the old year.

Top Posts

On Facebook

On the Blog

Returning from last year, Why Do People Protest still lands in the Top 5 posts on the blog.  The other Top 5 posts are:

Most Commented

Another of last year’s posts (Obama Needs a Vision Check) continues to be one of the most commented posts.  The others include:

Thank You

We’d like to say thank you to all of our Fans, Friends and followers, and in particular, to the following for ReTweeting, linking, and generally loving our stuff!

Happy New Year from all of us at D&S and Georgetown CDACS!

Dec 18, 2009

Friday Cartoon

In light of our excellent conference on media, dictators and democrats last week, I thought this cartoon might be appropriate. (big scary fish is labeled ‘Iranian Govt’)


Founded in 2004, Democracy and Society is a biannual print journal published by the Center for Democracy and Civil Society at Georgetown University. The D&S Blog provides web-only content, including special reports and investigative series, on issues relating to democracy and development.

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