November 24, 2008

NEWS / EVENTS: Facebook, Google, others sponsor youth activism summit

Facebook, Google, and the Google-owned YouTube are among the sponsors for the Alliance of Youth Movements Summit, an event taking place at New York's Columbia Law School from December 3-5.

Along with other collaborators--which include the U.S. Department of State, MTV, Access 360 Media, and start-up Howcast--the event hopes to "find (the) best ways to use digital media to promote freedom and justice, and counter violence, extremism, and oppression."

The companies have amassed 17 leaders of different activist groups and hope to bring them together to come up with a common set of principles and strategies, inspired by a movement against a Colombian extremist group that was formed and organized on Facebook.

"Aided by social-networking technologies, the organization inspired 12 million people in 190 cities around the world to take to the streets in protest against the FARC, an extremist group that has been terrorizing Colombia for more than 40 years," an announcement of the summit read. "The magnitude of the marches illustrated once and for all that the FARC lacked a strong support base. Within days of the protests, the FARC witnessed massive desertions from their ranks."

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