As Venezuela tilts more toward authoritarianism, Twitter is one of the few channels democratizing the public square. The Maduro regime has actively blocked channels for civic engagement and access to unbiased information by censoring reporters and assuming control of major media outlets, among other measures. In this context, social media platforms serve as an instrumental tool to challenge government policies and messaging, galvanize support, and organize protests. Social media platforms are also used to solicit and offer medicines and broadcast the severity of the humanitarian crisis affecting the country. Last November, the Constituent Assembly passed a wide-reaching law that orders prison sentences for up to 20 years for anyone that instigates “hate” on social media and broadcasters. This event will analyze the crucial role that social media outlets have played in Venezuela, particularly Twitter.
- Colin Crowell, Vice President, Global Public Policy & Corporate Philanthropy, Twitter @ColinCrowell @Policy
- Rodrigo Diamanti, Director, Un Mundo Sin Mordaza @RDiamanti @Sinmordaza
- Daniel Wilkinson, Managing Director for the Americas, Human Rights Watch @DWilkinsonNYC @HRW
- Raúl Stolk, Lawyer and Writer; Chairman, Caracas Chronicles @raulstolk @CaracasChron (moderator)
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Vice President, Global Public Policy & Corporate Philanthropy, Twitter
Colin Crowell is vice president of global public policy & corporate philanthropy at Twitter. Previously, he was senior counselor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, serving as the Chairman’s strategic advisor on a wide range of policy matters. Crowell also served more than 20 years as a telecommunications and internet staffer to U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA). He is a graduate of Boston College with a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in computer science.
Director, Un Mundo Sin Mordaza
Rodrigo Diamanti founded international NGO Un Mundo Sin Mordaza (A World Without Censorship) with activists in 200 cities around the globe and presence in 52 countries. Rodrigo has created powerful and meaningful campaigns like #SOSVenezuela and #TuVozEstuPoder (Your Voice is Your Power). He received the recognition of the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper in 2012 and by the City Council of Rome in 2013 with the "Medal of Rome" for his actions to improve human rights. Rodrigo graduated from Harvard Kennedy School’s MPA program in 2017.
Lawyer and Writer; Chairman, Caracas Chronicles
Raúl Stolk is chairman of Caracas Chronicles. He is also editor-in-chief at LexLatin. Previously, Stolk was a partner at the law firm Gallegos & Stolk. He holds a law degree from Catholic University Andrés Bello, and an LLM in Banking, Corporate, and Finance Law from Fordham Law School.
Managing Director of the Americas, Human Rights Watch
Daniel Wilkinson is managing director of the Americas division at Human Rights Watch. He has conducted fieldwork and advocacy throughout the region, and authored reports on human rights issues in Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, the United States, and Venezuela. Wilkinson's writings on US policy toward Latin America have been widely published. His book, "Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala," won the PEN/Albrand Award for nonfiction. Wilkinson is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.
February 14, 2018
Watch a discussion between experts from Twitter, Sin Mordaza, and Human Rights Watch on the power of platforms such as Twitter to document human rights violations in the country....