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How an internet-driven defense and support unit is helping Ukraine
With Russia invading Ukraine our world is changing in a massive, still quite unpredictable way - yet again. And while I am no war or geopolitics expert, I do wanna use this platform to raise awareness about the horrible things happening in Ukraine, Russia, and Europe these days.
Before we explore some new perspectives, please do (!) check out this crowdsourced list that will direct you to lots of amazing initiatives that you can donate to: 🇺🇦 Help Ukraine. The people in Ukraine and those fleeing need our help! Give whatever you can!
Crowdsourced Resistance 🇺🇦
While reading about the horrible war in Ukraine, seeing refugees arrive in Berlin and staying updated on the latest developments via social media, I realized that there is something new happening here. With social media and the internet, we are not only more than ever connected to this war, but we are also more than ever capable and empowered to use these digital tools in order to share important information and expertise, raise awareness, and help out in innovative ways.
This is a completely new world where ordinary people are able to act as a sort of internet-driven defense and support unit, aiding people on the ground in Ukraine. Let’s explore some of these initiatives - a few of these come from an amazing thread by Whitney Merrill, so do check her Twitter out. And don’t hesitate to share any of the tweets and initiatives below with your network to raise even more awareness about them.
So here we go:
Booking Ukrainian Airbnb’s to Support Their Hosts with Donations Directly
Volunteers Documenting the War on Wikipedia
Tinder Being Used to Expose Russian Soldiers’ Locations And Intel
Real-time Fact-Checking of War Footage
Great Article About The Rise of OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) Communities
“OSINT researchers use information freely accessible to anyone, which can include security video feeds and satellite imagery. The community trades tips on where to find information and how to analyze it for identifiable markers like geolocation tags and serial numbers. After using this data to trace anything from military activity to arms flows, researchers publish their findings on social media platforms like Discord, Twitter, and Facebook.”
“[…] while Ukraine is not the first social media war, the conflict has allowed OSINT research to explode into the public consciousness.”
President Zelensky Using His Platform and Internet Meme Skills
Lots of Crowdsourced Translations & Re-Edits of Footage, Including This One That Went Viral
Advice on How to Jam Russian Military Radio
Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation is Crowdsourcing a Cyber Army
Ukrainian Tech Collective Enables Foreign Tech Talent To Cover for Ukrainian Software Developers
Urban Warfare Advice by Chair of Urban Warfare Studies
TikToks Teaching Ukrainians How To Drive Russian Tanks
Ukraine Government Sets Up Hotline for Russian Soldiers’ Families
Ukrainian Hobby Drone Enthusiasts Use Drones As Reconnaissance Tools
Crowdsourced Intelligence Gathering via GitHub
People Put Twitter Lists Of On The Ground Reporters And War Experts Together
Russian Influencers Speak Out & Share The Truth
Call Russia, an Initiative Enabling Foreigners to Connect with Russians via Telephone Calls
Donations via Crypto NFTs and DAOs
Using Google Reviews to Hack Russia’s Propaganda And Disseminate the Truth to People in Russia
Hackers Can Win $100k In A Hackathon To Help Expose Russian Software Vulnerabilities
Tracking Russian Oligarchs’ Private Planes & Yachts
There is of course much more than the above… And new internet-driven initiatives to help Ukraine are popping up every day.
It’s a new world! A world in which ordinary people increasingly come together on social media and use it in novel ways to defend those being oppressed and attacked. It’s about leveraging the attention economy for good: using the addictiveness, the virality, the connectedness, the visual power, the borderlessness, and the speed of social media and the internet to help out.
That’s it for this week. If you missed some of my earlier posts, just click here to see all of them.
And again, please consider donating to 🇺🇦 Help Ukraine!
See you next week!