Experts to discuss impact of social media on mental health

A man monitors posts on a facebook account. PHOTO/ FILE

Climate change, digital diplomacy, emerging digital threats (trafficking, extremism, and radicalization) and the impact of social media on mental health, among others are some of the issues lined up for discussion at this year’s social media dialogue in Kampala later this month.

Others are citizen journalism vs digital newsrooms, rebirth of social media and digital politics in Africa, social media and elections in Africa, according to Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) which announced the virtual dialogue early this month.

At least 34 media and policy experts have been identified to speak at the event slated for August 25 and 26. They include Dr William Tayebwa (Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow of American council of Learned Societies), Adonia Ayebare (Ugandan Ambassador to the UN), Raymond Mujuni (investigative journalist), Adeke Anna (Soroti  Woman MP), Dr Benedict Akimana (Pyschiatrist, Butabika Hospital) and Dr Paul Kasenene  (Wellness and Nutrition Specialist).

The social media conference pandemic edition will present new insights on social media and allow experts and participants to discuss how digital technology can be used to foster democracy in a post pandemic world, to galvanize online participation and enable free speech.

Panelists will also give recommendations on the best practices to stimulate social media use and build an open internet, as well as their knowledge and understanding of current and future social media policies, the orgnaisers have said.

“The conference aims to bring together academics, policy-makers, industry professionals, and civil society activists to discuss the role of social media in Africa and globally, mobile technology, big data, and digital innovation. It also aims to promote the exchange of ideas, networking, and collaboration on the topics of citizen engagement, political campaigning, misinformation, political polarization, populism, e-government, smart cities, and other emerging topics,”  Mr Nicholas Opolot L’akwang, the KAS Uganda programme officer said.


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