Stopping important election information from being suppressed by spam filters

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Summary of the Problem:

During elections and other political crises, governments often spam Twitter hashtags that are used to send updates with unrelated content; this makes it impossible for people following the hashtag to find the relevant information. (This problem also occurs on other platforms, such as Facebook and Crowdmap.) In Belarus, Twitter has emerged as a powerful tool for organizing, but during the last presidential elections the government spammed the #electby hashtag so that followers could not find actual updates and information.


Summary of the Proposed Solution: Create a closed network of trusted Twitter users and bloggers who will provide accurate updates about an event that will serve as a backup information channel. This content can be aggregated into an RSS feed. The goal is to limit the ability of spammers to access and hijack the communication channel by in turn limiting the number of contributors.


Technology to Solve the Problem:

• Twitter

• Flexible blogging platform

• RSS

• Mobile RSS reader


Existing solutions or relevant links:

Twitter and their forthcoming features for suppressing hashtag spam in the user interface


Follow-on Actions:

• Identify members of civil society and activist community who can serve as contributors to the information network

• Ensure that the system is operational at least four months before the next major election