Adapting Social Media to Promote Credible Elections in Low Technology Countries; Configuring the Networked Self

October 24, 2012
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Upcoming Events / Digital Media
October 24, 2012

Remember to load images if you have trouble seeing parts of this email. Or click here to view the web version of this newsletter. Below you will find upcoming Berkman Center events, interesting digital media we have produced, and other events of note.

The Berkman Center is now accepting applications for fellowships in the 2013-2014 academic year! More information is available online.
berkman luncheon series

Adapting Social Media to Promote Credible Elections in Low Technology Countries

Tuesday, October 30, 12:30pm ET, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, Cambridge, MA. This event will be webcast live.


The new millennium ushered in a new dispensation for a new wave of democratic experimentations in Nigeria. A new republic commenced in 1999 and since then Nigeria has held a historic four consecutive elections. Until 2011, none of the elections have received positive review in the arena of credibility – or freeness, or fairness. However, the appointment of a new leadership for INEC renewed confidence in the body that the April 2011 elections were optimistically anticipated to be a marked improvement over the discredited previous experiences. The new INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, was reputed to be a respected academic and principled activist. In light of the renewed hope and confidence, and the desire to get things right through concerted efforts, several civil society organizations established election reporting platforms via SMS, twitter, websites, blogs, facebook, telephone lines etc. One particular organization recruited volunteers and got itself embedded within the INEC systems to promote a “two-way communication between INEC and its stakeholders”. What evolved was a media-tracking centre established to assess the robust blend of traditional and new media during the election period. Of the 87 million mobile phone users in Nigeria (44 million of which have access to the Internet), it was an interesting trend to see how social media, for the first time, was adopted and, quite interestingly, adapted, to ensure credibility of the electoral process in Nigeria. During this presentation, I intend to showcase the Nigeria experience, highlight what worked and what didn’t really work as expected; specific instances of how social media interventions prevented rigging; how the elections has helped the growth of use of social media, the patterns of usage during and after the elections; and, how traditional media has adjusted to social media practice. I hope the audience will share their experiences and help to proffer recommendations to revamp the innovation for a more institutionalized adaptation in promoting good governance in Nigeria, as I continue to explore this in my present research work. Oluwaseun Odewale is a Berkman Center Fellow and Nigerian with degrees in Chemistry (Medicinal Chemistry) and Chemical Engineering Technology. Born, some 32 years ago in Lagos Island, Lagos, South West Nigeria, he also holds professional training diplomas in Community Local Participation (UNICEF); International Elections Observation Missions (KAIPTC/ECOWAS); Mentoring Young Leaders under the Kwame Nkrumah emerging leaders training series, and; the African Contingency Operations and Training Assistance (ACOTA) (ECOWAS) among others. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

special event

Configuring the Networked Self

Wednesday, November 7, 6:00pm ET, Harvard Law School.


The models of individual behavior upon which U.S. legal scholars and policymakers habitually rely are too narrow and unrealistic to yield useful insights into information policy problems. Configuring the Networked Self seeks to remedy this deficit, and in the process to develop a unified framework for conceptualizing the social and cultural effects of legal and technical regimes that govern information access and use. It offers guiding principles for information policy reform that move beyond the themes of “access to knowledge” and “network neutrality.” The everyday behaviors of ordinary people require spaces where they can be enacted, tools with which they can be pursued, and meaningful legal guarantees in which they can claim shelter. This requires more careful attention to the semantic structure of the networked information environment. The mixture of freedom and control that human beings require to flourish is achieved most effectively when regulat ory architectures are characterized by operational transparency—by access to the underlying logic of information systems—and by semantic discontinuity—by gaps and inconsistencies within systems of meaning that leave room for the play of everyday practice. RSVP Required. more information on our website>

special event

DPLA Appfest Hackathon

November 8-9, Chattanooga Public Library, Chattanooga, TN.


The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is delighted to announce our first Appfest, an informal, open call for both ideas and functional examples of creative and engaging ways to use the content and metadata in the DPLA back-end platform. The first Appfest will take place on November 8-9, 2012, at the Chattanooga Public Library on The 4th Floor. We’ll have access to their new 1 gig wireless internet connection, so anything you build should be smokin’ fast! more information on our website>


Niva Elkin-Koren on Fair Use for Education: Taking Best Practices to the Next Level


Over the past two decades copyright law has become a major impediment to learning and teaching processes. The use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes is, indeed, at the core of fair use. Yet, the high level of uncertainty regarding the particular scope of permissible uses prevents universities and colleges from exercising fair use on behalf of their students. In this talk, Niva Elkin-Koren — former dean of the University of Haifa Faculty of Law and the founding director of the Haifa Center for Law & Technology (HCLT) — shares some insights based on the building of a coalition of higher education institutions in Israel and drafting a code of fair use best practices. video/audio on our website>

Other Events of Note

Events that may be of interest to the Berkman community:

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Last updated

October 24, 2012