Julie Marie Hansen

Dimensions of Security Department at PRIO & Department of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo

Julie Marie Hansen
Staff Page: www.prio.org
Email: julhan@prio.org

Social Media in Armed Conflict: The Case of Myanmar

Increasingly, peace and conflict studies scholars are paying attention to the role of social media in the context of armed conflict. While some cite that social media can contribute to decreased risk of onset of armed conflict and empowerment of civil society to prevent or resolve violence, others point to the more destructive use of social media as providing platforms for hate speech and incitement of violence, and the increased likelihood of collective violence. This PhD study aims to understand the role of social media in armed conflict by looking at one particular phenomenon of armed conflicts – conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). Specifically, the study focuses on the role of social media in efforts to prevent and mitigate the impact of CRSV in Myanmar. Not only has Myanmar experienced decades of ethnic-based armed conflicts where CRSV has been a key feature, but it has also recently seen the rapid introduction of the internet and dominance of Facebook as the main online space for the majority of the population. The findings from the study are based on qualitative methods and multi-sited field work in Myanmar and will be presented in an article-based thesis.