May 26 2022 GM

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Glitter Meetups

Glitter Meetup is the weekly town hall of the Internet Freedom community at the IFF Square on the IFF Mattermost, at 9am EST / 1pm UTC. Do you need an invite? Learn how to get one here.

Date: Thursday, May 26th

Time: 9am EDT / 1pm UTC

Who: Moussa

Moderator: Islam

Where: On IFF Mattermost Square Channel.

Bread&Net Festival - The 5th edition

After two years of convening entirely online, this November, the digital rights community will finally meet again in person, in Lebanon, for our first-ever hybrid festival.

In addition to the live-streamed sessions, the 5th edition of Bread&Net will host a range of in-person networking and community-building events across Beirut. Our aim is to promote and strengthen the local culture of digital literacy, privacy, and security while bringing to light the wider digital rights challenges and opportunities emerging in our region.

Moussa is a Researcher and Facilitator. Since 2020 Moussa has filled the position of General Coordinator of Bread&Net Festival. His work is centered around digital rights, online hate speech, and queer issues in Arabic-speaking countries.

Notes

Bread&Net is an annual unconference that promotes and defends digital rights across Arabic speaking countries. Hosted by SMEX, Bread&Net is a platform built for and sustained by hundreds of activists, technologists, journalists, researchers, lawyers, academics, entrepreneurs, and human rights defenders from around the world, with a particular focus on digital rights and digital freedoms in Arabic-speaking countries.

Founded in 2008, SMEX is a Lebanese NGO that works to defend digital rights, promote an open culture and local content, and encourage critical engagement with digital technologies, media, and networks in the Arabic speaking countries. They conduct research, training, and advocacy on internet policy and digital rights to support the expansion of more accessible and participatory environments for individuals and civil society.

SMEX is currently working on building a network of digital rights within Arabic-speaking countries, while running the Digital Safety Helpdesk, which assists users in responding to digital threats such as harassment, wrongful suspensions, and harmful content online. They also document detentions related to free expression on our Muhal database. To learn more, visit their website.

Can you tell us a bit more about what’s new this year for Bread & Net? What are the themes?

  • After two years of convening entirely online, this November, the digital rights community will finally meet again in person, in Lebanon, for our first-ever hybrid festival.
  • This year as we experiment with the hybrid model, as we will be hosting sessions online and in-person and connecting the 2 worlds, we tried to expand the scope of topics covered to include nineteen different tracks—each aiming to represent and support our vision of a more inclusive, engaging, and open Bread&Net.
  • So what we basically did, is that we eliminated the usual 4 themes and introduced these 19 tracks to open the space for more ideas and discussions
  • The most one I'm excited about is the Open Space, which will be hosting artwork relevant to B&N aims and purposes
  • We are also trying to make space for digital futures and utopias, so we can imagine and explore together what the Internet would be in the future and on the contrary, what we want it to be!

How can people apply to be part of the conference? And what kind of proposals are you looking for?

  • Our call for proposals is open until the end of May. The good news is that we will extend the call for more than 40 days!!
  • We are using Venueless as our virtual platform, which is an open source virtual conferences platform
  • And our proposals app is on Pretalx, which is part of Venueless and provides an easy and well organized to the whole process
  • All these platforms are vetted and approved by our tech unit to ensure all speakers and attendees safety and security
  • We have 4 types of sessions: Panels, Workshops, Lighting talks, and Tool Demos. Each with 2 duration options. Also as I mentioned, we accept other types of sessions in the Open Space!

What advice would you provide to people considering submitting proposals? (reminder that the deadline is in 40 days now!)

  • From proposals filtering perspective, we find it hard sometimes to understand what some sessions are about or how relevant the topic is to digital rights. That's why I would advise you to write a well-structured proposal with a clear aim and the outcome you expect. Especially that we filter the session with the help of our Advisory Committee.
  • We also provide a closed meetings space so feel free to suggest that as well
  • As I mentioned earlier, Brea&Net is coming as a hybrid event. As per that, we are planning few activities around the discussions like movie screening, stand up comedy, and a later after party
  • Hope anyone here attended 2019's so they can tell about how fun the party was hahah

In terms of technicalities, what are the challenges and opportunities held in the strategy of hosting a hybrid space?

  • That is a big question! First of all, unfortunately, we won't be able to stream all sessions online. As we are facing a technology limitation where we can stream sessions on the Stage area only. Although we will try to provide a like screening to the sessions happening online with a way to interact with the session from B&N venue if you are attending in person
  • Also, taking the Covid situation in consideration, we won't be able to host all sessions in person and bring everyone to Beirut
  • However, we are expecting at least 150 people between speakers and attendees to join the event in Beirut
  • Hosting a hybrid event also requires a higher capacity of work and organizing, as we will have to prepare the tech logistics and in-person logistics, Fund speakers, and coordinate their logistics while coordinating the virtual process. It's like hosting one event twice at the same time
  • Bread&Net potential dates are November 15-18. to be announced officially soon. The extension to be announced next week too

What advice would you provide to attendees in order to make the most of the space?

  • Back to the question, we really face the problem of unregistered folks who want to attend B&N while it's happening, so please keep an eye on B&N website and social media channels to follow up when the registration is open and make sure to register (you use Pretix as our registration platform which is also connected to Venueless)
  • We also have sessions happening in parallel, so scan the program and make sure what sessions you wanna attend so you would be ready at the space
  • We also structure the program in a way the include breaks every 90 minutes in average, so you want be drained by the end of each day

Will you dedicate spaces focused on mental health?

  • Yes, definitely we are trying to host few sessions tackling mental health and will try to create kind of a mental health check point at the venue
  • Also I was just reading the mental health report and it's amazing thank you folks for working on this