About the Observatory

News media are filled with images of refugees fleeing conflict and taking the difficult journey to Europe, or videos purportedly showing violence perpetrated by extremist groups, national governments or international militaries. Governments are debating and passing new legislation to increase powers to monitor and address online radicalization and pressure is growing for social media companies to address speech that incites violence.

ConflictNET is at the intersection of many of these rapidly evolving and contemporary issues. Given the need for public debate and dialogue, as well as the opportunity for crowdsourcing data through online participation, we are establishing the online Social Media, Conflict and Migration Observatory. This is an unique opportunity to highlight and bring forward the voices of migrants. While our focus is on Africa, the Observatory will also engage with comparative perspectives and with other contexts and conflicts, such as the Middle East. Please contact us if you would like to contribute.

Through drawing on data collected by the team during the project, as well as bringing together publicly available material created by migrants, the Observatory will capture and publish unique material about how social media is capturing the experience of migrants fleeing conflict as well as information about current efforts to extend Internet access across Africa, particularly in conflict-affected regions.

Furthermore, building on the global network of Oxford’s Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP), we are encouraging public participation and soliciting multimedia content. We are encouraging the submission of stories through video content, Instagram photos and other sources. Crucially, this will offer migrants and conflict-affected communities a platform to share their stories and hence amplify their voices.

Please visit our Social Media and Migration page, where we showcase the stories of the journeys of African migrants in their own words.