SMEX

SMEX is a registered Lebanese NGO that works to advance self-regulating information societies in the Middle East and North Africa.

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2023 SMEX Fellowship on Technology and Human Rights

New technologies are at the heart of struggles for rights in the MENA region, offering unprecedented opportunities for freedom of expression, networking and mobilization. These technologies also, however, have been assimilated into existing systems of control leading to a host of threats, from privacy breaches to targeted harassment and suppression of dissent. Authoritarian regimes across …

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Call for Stories: Technology and Human Rights at the Qatar World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is an exciting event for many around the world. For those in the Arab region, this event will be even more special given that it’s taking place in the region for the first time.  SMEX is calling for story pitches on the intersection of technology and human rights in the context …

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Bread&Net 2022: Call for Illustrators

Over the past decade, civil society has depended on digital networks and tools for advocacy efforts and mobilization. In our region, however, the advantages these networks and tools afford have been mitigated by increasingly restrictive laws, scaled-up mass surveillance, disinformation campaigns, and crackdowns on online freedom of expression.  The four previous editions of Bread&Net successfully …

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How The Supreme Council For Media Will Subject Netflix And Disney To Egyptian Laws

This article was prepared and published by Masaar. In a brief statement posted on its official website, the Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) announced that streaming platforms such as Netflix and Disney have to be obligated to “the customs and values of the Egyptian state.” The statement raised a number of questions about the possibility and mechanism …

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Statement Regarding BSR’s HRA for Meta on Palestine & Israel

SMEX, along with 71 of local, regional and international partners has issued a joint statement regarding BSR’s Human Rights Due Diligence report on Arabic and Hebrew content on Meta’s platform. Human rights organizations and civil society have been calling for an independent review of Meta’s content moderation policies as they pertain to Palestine for years, …

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Meta censored Palestinians last May – independent audit report confirms

A newly released report on Meta’s content moderation practices confirmed the company’s documented over-enforcement of Arabic content (i.e. erroneously taking down posts, restricting reach, falsely flagging content as inappropriate, etc.) during May last year. Commissioned by Meta and conducted by BSR, the long-awaited report  provides evidence of disparate treatment of Arabic content compared to Hebrew …

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Internet Shutdowns to Prevent Cheating During Exams: The Impact on Society and Economy in the MENA Region

This SMEX research report was written by Sarah Cupler, an independent research consultant. It was funded by the Internet Society. The report, Internet Shutdowns to Prevent Cheating During Exams: The Impact on Society and Economy in the MENA Region, analyzes the use of internet shutdowns to combat cheating and to control information leaks during school …

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Saudi authorities must release women’s rights activist Salma al-Shehab

We, the undersigned NGOs, call on the international community to press Saudi Arabian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release women’s rights activist and academic Salma al-Shehab, who was recently sentenced to 34 years in prison based on tweets in support of women’s rights and for the respect of basic rights. It is the longest known …

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Meta’s Treatment of the India Human Rights Impact Assessment Is an Alarming Precedent for Arabic Speaking Countries

22 August 2022 Dear Meta Human Rights and “MENA” Teams, The undersigned civil society organizations working in Arabic-speaking countries demand the immediate release of Meta’s India human rights impact assessment (HRIA) and BSR’s independent review of Meta’s content moderation in Palestine. Meta contracted with BSR, a third-party assessor, “to conduct a thorough examination to determine …

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