7amleh — the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, is preparing to host the Palestine Digital Activism Forum in its fifth and digital edition, which will begin in 29 March and last until 1 April. PDAF 2021 brings Palestinians together from all over the world to discuss the challenges and possibilities of Palestinian digital rights. The forum has wide universal, global, regional and local participation, which will open the space for people from all over the world to share their different experiences in the digital world.
The theme of the forum will be “Palestinian Digital Rights during and after the Coronavirus Pandemic.” The forum will host more than 35 digital events, including political discussions and digital talks that engage issues relating to digital rights. It will also host multiple workshops and trainings, that aim to develop and advance the practical skills of participants in different areas. This year’s forum will also host a number of exclusive talks and workshops which will be the first of their kind in Palestine and the Arab world, such as Twitter’s session on Social Change, a Q&A with Facebook on content moderation policies, and a session with Instagram on Social Good. In addition, we will host a very important conversation about the Palestinian elections in the digital era and the age of social media.
80 speakers will join our events from all over the world, such as the inaugural Director of Human Rights Product Policy at Facebook, Miranda Sissons, who will speak in the Facebook Q&A, and the Head of Public Policy, Government & Philanthropy for the Middle East and Afghanistan and Pakistan at Twitter, George Salama. Further, in the first day of the forum, the deputy manager of the Norwegian Institute for Public Health will join us to talk about the protection of medical data, which will give us the opportunity to discuss the questions and privacy concerns that were raised recently in this regard.
We will also be joined by the chief of the section of Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists at UNESCO, Guilherme Canela, as well as Juri Schnoller who will join us in a workshop on the best practices in political campaigns and communication. Further, in the first and second days of the forum, we will have Palestinian inspirational speakers, including the Palestinian-American comedian Amer Zahr, and the youngest journalist in the world Janna Jehad, in addition to other experts and activists who will share their different experiences with us at the forum.
These activities will be organized in partnership with 70 local, regional and global partners, such as UNESCO, Amnesty International, UN Women, Access Now, United Nations Population Fund, as well as some of the largest social media companies, such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
We hope that this year’s forum will transcend barriers and borders, and offer a safe and common space for the different groups of people who are interested in the digital world and in Palestinian digital rights, as well as a space that brings Palestinians together from all over the world.