Dangerous liaisons: social media as a (flawed) tool of resistance in Egypt

Egypt, Report

Social media can be considered a double-edged sword for the Egyptian human rights movement. It allows individuals and human rights organisations to reach the public and spread a human rights perspective. However, social media is also used by the Egyptian government as a way to boost their own voice, publish their propaganda and conduct wide-scale attacks on human rights defenders.

These attacks, rarely mitigated by online platforms, have turned social media into a source of danger for human rights defenders who can be arrested, subjected to smear campaigns and even physically assaulted for simply posting an opinion or sharing an article.

As a result, the human rights movement has been navigating these risks to continue speaking out. To do so, human rights defenders employ various strategies and take a wide array of precautions. Awareness of digital risks is improving and will hopefully continue to do so.

EuroMed Rights spoke, at times under conditions of anonymity, to several human rights defenders to understand the daily challenges they face when using social media and the solutions they found to avoid becoming targets for the authorities. The infographic below summarises the path human rights defenders follow to report violations digitally.

Read the full study here