The Platform Impacts Fund (PIF) aims to provide flexible, core funding to support vital work in tech governance and accountability from individuals and organizations working in the Majority World. We invited proposals from organizations as well as researchers and advocates without access to consistent institutional support. Applicants were encouraged to submit applications focused on supporting and documenting platform impacts specifically for at-risk communities and demographics. We received more than thirty applications to our call for proposals for flexible core funding, demonstrating a clear need and funding gap for civil society based outside of Europe and North America.
Following this successful round of funding, Internews’ Platform Accountability team is pleased to support organizations working in East Africa, West Africa, and across South Asia. Our flexible core funding this year will focus on several themes including documentation of violent and hateful content online, particularly in societies with intergroup conflict and upcoming elections, as well as election observation and monitoring across social media.
“Receiving flexible funding for core support from the PIF will help us advance our volunteer-based coalition efforts and become legally registered as a non-profit. This will be crucial for us to develop an organizational structure, scale up our efforts beyond Facebook, include more Ethiopian languages, and seek out additional avenues of funding in the future.”NAHS researchers
Network Against Hate Speech (NAHS) is a collective of concerned volunteers documenting hateful and violence-inciting speeches on Ethiopia’s Facebook spaces and endeavors to have them reported, removed, and the users suspended via internal and external channels. NAHS has developed an archive of reported content for research purposes to prevent the escalation of social media spaces being turned into instruments of violence for sectarian-conflict-prone societies. The group has fostered many active users to mobilize coordinated reports of harmful content to ensure platform responsiveness.
“This grant will help us advance the efforts of our African elections observatory to monitor the 2023 general elections in Nigeria and assess the social media platforms’ level of preparedness to address threats. Through a dedicated Nigerian election task force, we will bring together key stakeholders, including the country’s electoral commission and representatives from election monitoring, media, fact-checking, disinformation research, digital rights, and social media companies in an attempt to understand and mitigate risks in real-time.”Rosemary Ajayi, Lead Digital Africa Research Lab
Mostly operating behind the scenes, Digital Africa Research Lab (@DigiAfricaLab) engages in evidence-based advocacy to social media platforms. DigiAfricaLab’s work involves developing methodologies to investigate systemic failures and loopholes in tech company policies. DigiAfricaLab’s efforts to monitor social media platforms will work towards examining the application and enforcement of content moderation policies in the Nigerian market as well as the disparities between civic integrity interventions when compared to the U.S., U.K., and E.U. markets.
Equality Labs is an India-based civil society organization that will receive a core funding grants from the PIF. Equality Labs is a Dalit civil rights organization dedicated to ending caste apartheid, gender-based violence, islamophobia, white supremacy, and religious intolerance. Funding from the PIF will continue to expand their work across South Asia as well as provide security and mental health support for researchers.
For more information or any inquiries about the grantees of the Platform Impacts Fund, please contact Zoey Barthelemy at Internews.