Experts: Education and media literacy are crucial in the fight against genocide denial | The new times
Digital technologies can play a vital role in the fight against genocide denial, experts including the United Nations have said.
“We have to use genocide education by preventing any atrocity that may happen, we have to educate young people about what happened in Rwanda, the genocide against the Tutsi, and about the holocaust as well and use the media education to stop Holocaust deniers,” said Castro Wesamba, Chief of Office, United Nations on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect.
He was speaking last week during a webinar on how digital technologies can be harnessed in the fight against genocide denial.
His remarks come at a time when genocide deniers, especially in Western countries, are increasingly using digital technologies to perpetuate genocide ideology.
Wesamba proposes that tech companies work with genocide survivors and other stakeholders to counter genocide denial.
“As the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi is denied via online platforms, anyone with a brain can see through the false narratives of the Holocaust deniers, but I now realize how important it is to not only engage these people , but also to inform everyone about the true story of the Genocide against the Tutsi, to prevent it from happening again,” he added.
Other panelists also highlighted the need for education, media literacy and collective sensitization to condemn and prevent genocide denial.
“Social media is a key to reprimanding genocide denial…people who use technology to deny need to know it’s a crime,” said Zachary Kaufman, professor of law and political science at the University of Houston Law Center.
Additionally, he explained, there was a need for international laws on combating genocide denial.
Genocide, he added, is not something people can express their freedom over.
Sara Brown, executive director of the Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education Center, said that with most Rwandans under the age of 25, the younger generation needs to be educated and given skills. accurate information on the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The center is designed to educate, inspire and empower individuals to stand up against injustice.
According to Lonzen Rugira, a Rwandan researcher and public affairs commentator, the fight against genocide deniers must be done at all levels to foster collective consciousness on the national and international stage.
“When we lead this conversation and these campaigns, we avoid the repetition of the genocide anywhere,” Rugira added.
Rugira stressed that young Holocaust deniers are positioning themselves as “legitimate” activists
He added that these denials, which proliferate on social media platforms such as YouTube and Twitter, have backers.
We will not accept any “democracy” that mocks Genocide survivors.
The conversations were part of the annual commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
According to the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide Ideology (CNLG), more and more Holocaust deniers are turning to social media to perpetuate Genocide ideology.
“Social media is becoming the new platform for denial. It is now the main weapon and those who do it are aware that it is the only weapon they have. Genocide denial is tantamount to committing crimes of genocide,” the CNLG said in February.