Research paper

ICT4Development and promotion of minority rights:

NOD Shared Space February 16, 2016 15:15 - 15:30

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Cecilia Strand

ICT4 development and promotion of minority rights: the case of a sexual minority organization in Uganda.  

Uganda has since the introduction of the anti-homosexuality bill of 2009, experienced an increasingly polarized media discourse on sexual minority rights. Rights that are indisputable for other Ugandan citizens most notably rights to privacy, health and indeed life, are questioned in relation to sexual minorities in mainstream media. The following study analyses a Ugandan NGO’s utilization of Twitter to supply the domestic public with counter-narratives and attempts to assert sexual minority rights in connection with the general election which will take place February 18 2016. The tentative analysis indicates that while Twitter is actively used as a space for highlighting organizational activity and events, information sharing, emotional support for group members, it is also used as a tool for political commentary on both news media coverage of sexual minority issues, and perhaps more importantly a platform for discussing the political candidates’ positioning of themselves in relation to rights issues. The official Twitter account is thus an important tool for political commentary and dissemination of counter narratives on sexual minority rights. The study concludes that Twitter, although restricting through its format, provides minority groups important access to public space otherwise denied on traditional media platforms.