Happy Internet Geek Tuesday!
Technology, the Internet, and social media are amazing. They have empowered people with information, a global space, and a portfolio of tools to communicate, to promote, and to debate their ideas and experiences. They have also presented challenges in how people communicate and engage with each other as they exercise their freedom of speech on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other sites in cyberspace. Some of these challenges include speech that causes fear or creates a threat of being the target of unwarranted abuse, harassment, or lies. Thanks to organizations like CiviliNation, an education and research nonprofit that focuses on advancing the full capability of individuals to communicate and to engage in cyberspace in a responsible and accountable way, work is being done to educate people about these challenges.
I first discovered CiviliNation and interviewed its founder Andrea Weckerle, an attorney and author of Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies and Other Jerks, on Digital Sisterhood Radio during Digital Sisterhood Month in 2010. The following year I made a commitment to support CiviliNation through my work with the Digital Sisterhood Network’s Digital Civility & Security Initiative.
I had a chance to reconnect with Weckerle during her March book reading for Civility in the Digital Age at Georgetown University in March. Her book educates readers in great detail about the depth of online hostility and reputational attacks against people and organizations. It also offers solutions on how to transform the current digital space into a place that honors and respects each person’s voice. It’s definitiely one of my favorite books of 2013!
CiviliNation recently launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to create the CiviliNation Academy for Online Conflict Management. The CiviliNation Academy plans to build a worldwide community and resource library that will become the go-to source for real-world information and expert advice people and organizations can use to cope with misunderstandings, clashes, and reputational hits in the digital space. Please support this campaign (ends on August 7). Any amount you can give will help! I gave $10.