COMMENT is WACC’s take on the rapidly changing world of communications and social media. The aim is to highlight topics that are of more than passing interest and likely to have a positive or negative impact on people’s lives. Topics may be political, social, economic or cultural in scope. Readers are invited to comment on COMMENT and to express their own views – which will be monitored only to prevent derogatory or offensive remarks. Topics include communication rights and wrongs, shrinking communication spaces, traditional and social media, the Internet of Things, and anything else that grabs our attention!
WACC is an international non-governmental organization that builds on communication rights in order to promote social justice. WACC believes that everyone has the right to communicate, in the same way that they have the right to food, shelter, and security. through strategic alliances. WACC aims to be a catalyst for positive change for the common good, sharing information, knowledge, and experience in the field of communications worldwide.

From manufacturing consent to manufacturing consensus

12/08/19 | (0) Comments |

An influential book on communications in the 1980s was Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of Mass Communication, by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky. It proposed a “propaganda model” as a way of understanding how the mass media system intersected with the U.S. economy, political system, and mobilising support for the special interests dominating state and corporate activity.

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It’s vital to be able to “read” social media

06/08/19 | (0) Comments |

In an era when misinformation and “fake news” abound on social media, it is important to understand where people get their news.

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Big data’s big brother: Real-time data processing

29/07/19 | (0) Comments |

Walk around any city and your face will be caught on camera and might even be added to a facial-recognition database. That data can now be processed in real-time. Regulations about how it can be used are minimal and generally weak.

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“Democracy, as we know it, is about to die…”

22/07/19 | (0) Comments |

There was a mantra among communities and businesses when foreign goods and huge chain stores started crowding out small, local operations. “Buy local” was the cry.

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Civil rights and the climate crisis

15/07/19 | (0) Comments |

Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, writes that the impacts of global heating are likely to undermine not only basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for hundreds of millions of people, but also democracy and the rule of law.

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Short-sighted policies for short-term gain

08/07/19 | (0) Comments |

Accessibility and affordability are watchwords of the communication rights movement. Yet when it comes to digital access, governments have still not got their act together.

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A voluntary way of holding social media to account

01/07/19 | (0) Comments |

Article 19 – the international freedom of expression organization – has proposed creating Social Media Councils (SMCs) as a way of moderating content on social media based on a “multi-stakeholder accountability mechanism”.

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Unfriendly-fire: Media freedom under threat

24/06/19 | (0) Comments |

“Elected leaders in many democracies, who should be press freedom’s staunchest defenders, have made explicit attempts to silence critical media voices and strengthen outlets that serve up favorable coverage. The trend is linked to a global decline in democracy itself: The erosion of press freedom is both a symptom of and a contributor to the breakdown of other democratic institutions and principles, a fact that makes it especially alarming.”

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Internet governance should work towards mechanisms to reinvigorate independent journalism

17/06/19 | (0) Comments |

A free and independent media sector is one of the cornerstones of what it means for a country to be a liberal democracy. The emergence of the Internet was initially received with much optimism as there was an expectation that it would help democratize media systems, allowing “citizens to report news, expose wrongdoing, express opinions, mobilize protest, monitor elections, scrutinize government, deepen participation, and expand the horizons of freedom."

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True public service media to the rescue

10/06/19 | (0) Comments |

Every ten years or so the BBC comes in for criticism for being too partial or too impartial.

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