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How to fight war propaganda? How about a virtual cafe?

By Nick
Thu Nov 20 2014 5:26 pm

Use social media as a medium to virtually connect two people from a different parts of the world. The goal of the project to allow people across the world to realize we are all much more similar than we may think.

For example, all people to create "Virtual Towns" that represent the part of the world that you self identify with. When joining the virtual town, you agree to have your profile, except for your name, available to others to determine if your profile is someone they would like to invite to a virtual cafe to have a friendly discussion. The virtual cafe would include translation software to facilitate the back and forth communication.

For example, someone living in Seattle could choose to join the virtual town of "Seattle". Then, someone living in Moscow could join the virtual town of "Moscow". The person in Moscow could ask the virtual cafe to send a meeting invitation to someone from the "Seattle" virtual town that is between the age of 35-40, married, and a father. The only item of information that wouldn't be disclosed to the Russian user would be the name of the Seattle user (for security purposes). If the invitation was accepted by the Seattle member then the accepting party would host the Russian member in a virtual cafe located in the virtual town of Seattle. They could discuss any topics of their choosing to get to know more about their different life experiences. To keep the host party accountable, the conversation would be open to other members of the Seattle virtual community, although the identities would not be disclosed, just basic profile information besides the name. This way, if people accept an invitation to host a meeting with the intent to say a bunch of nasty or mean stuff then the other members of the town could kick the person out of the group.

Anyway, too many other details to get into but the overall goal is to give people the opportunity to seek a virtual discussion with someone form a certain part of the world that meets a general profile. Then they can meet with each other online and realize they are more alike then they realized. I believe this type of system could go a long ways towards avoiding war conflicts in the future. For example, if Americans and Russians had more direct communications then I believe both sides would realize we would like be friends with one another and stop believing all of the propaganda from both of our governments.

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Government Peacebuilding War International Relations

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