Youth Declaration on combating misinformation in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East
Arpan Patel, New York
Alexa Dominique Pascual, New York
Sean Schrader, Florida
Yash Tadimalla, North Carolina
Link to document: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/alexa-dominique-pascual-86987550_youth-declaration-on-combating-misinformation-activity-7130510972523307009-NcSe?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop
The conflict in the Middle East has caused widespread division and chaos around the world. There has been an increasing amount of chaos and harm that was caused by Hamas in the Middle east. Because of the destruction that was caused by the organization, misinformation began to spread all throughout the media. Not only have Palestinians and Israeli citizens been targeted, but also Americans of Palestinian and Israeli heritage. Discrimination and inequality has been increasing in the United States, especially because of the misinformation that has been reported in the news about the conflict. Any news outlet should not be one sided in this situation, but to also emphasize that both sides are suffering in terms of this conflict. There should also be an increase in emphasis on social media and on media outlets, that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people. In this way, racism and inequality would decrease. On the other hand discrimination against the Jewish population should decrease as well, that is why the improvement of communication is needed. Support for projects on social media and on combating disinformation is what is essential in these crucial times.
There has also been an increase of racism with Palestinian and Israeli Americans. This indicates that the establishment of organizations about educating the youth on foreign policy should be established. The improvement of social media use has to be established in order to reach the youth and to educate civilians about the true facts about the conflict. We always have to remember that social media is one of the key factors to reach everyone, who are not in the field of politics and diplomacy. Misinformation in the media has become an increasingly pressing concern in today's interconnected world. The rapid dissemination of false or biased information through traditional news outlets and social media platforms poses a significant threat to public understanding and discourse. The increase of misinformation in social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok and X has been increasing rapidly. This can cause the youth to become one sided in this conflict and to not pay attention to credible information. This situation can also bring danger in terms of human rights and education, because with the lack of factual information conflict and chaos may arise. To combat this issue, it is essential for media outlets to prioritize accuracy and objectivity in their reporting. Journalists play a critical role in ensuring that credible and well-sourced information is disseminated to the public, helping to counter the spread of false narratives and divisive rhetoric. In parallel, addressing discrimination and promoting inclusivity on university campuses is of paramount importance, and college students can play a vital role in these efforts. Discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, or any other grounds should not be tolerated within academic institutions. Because of misinformation protests in civil society are occurring and discrimination with students has been getting worse every week. This also leads to the discrimination with refugees and racism with Palestinian and Israeli immigrants. Organizations must actively work to create a safe and inclusive environment for all citizens both the private and the public sector , regardless of their background. This includes implementing anti-discrimination policies, fostering open dialogue, and promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives. Citizens have a crucial role to play in combating discrimination by advocating for change, supporting one another, and engaging in constructive conversations to bridge divides and promote a culture of acceptance and respect. We the youth are motivated to prevent misinformation in the media, and to educate people that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people. In this way, inequality would not occur and people would be well informed about factual information. This will also reduce the chances of violent protests that are now occurring in our society. With the establishment of programs that prevent misinformation, hate against the Jewish and the Muslim population will decrease across the country and worldwide.
We the youth
Realizing the problems of misinformation proliferation in media outlets and in social media. With platforms like X, TikTok, Meta being major contributors to societal narratives on these issues lacking credible information validation processes can lead to rise in agitation and conflict in our country
Condemning the increased acts of violence against Palestinian and Israeli Americans, caused due to misinformation. Also contributed to by the increase of racism and religious discrimination within communities.
Emphasizing that the government should apply pressure on media outlets to prevent disinformation from escalating. The government should also condemn misinformation on social media and should establish programs to hinder fake news from spreading.
Reaffirming that any form of Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and racism based aggressions should be prevented and condemned in civil society and citizens should not be discriminated against. Citizens who participate in protests should not discriminate or treat each other with substandard behavior.
Reiterating that it is important for the media to report credible and accurate information, to combat misinformation.. Journalists have to understand that civilians rely on the media for information and they should not be one sided and biased in reporting.
Acknowledge That Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people and that the United States is there to defend innocent civilians, when in danger. It is essential for any information about US foreign policy to be accurate, so that everyone around the world will know that the US will always defend the lives of anyone facing a crisis.
Expressing that information about US diplomacy addressing the Israeli-Hamas conflict should be improved. For example, the recent trips the US Department of State conducted the past few weeks has to be better communicated to citizens. In this way, factual information about US diplomacy could be properly portrayed and clarified.
Urging The youth to be involved in advocacy about the prevention of misinformation and for the government to address the issue of biased journalism.
Recognizing that women, men and children in conflict areas deserve justice and safety. It is essential for the government to increase humanitarian support for Palestinian’s and Israelis who are experiencing injury and loss. Especially for those people who have lost family members during the attack.
Understanding Hamas should be condemned in this tragedy. That is why diplomatic relations with allies, including Egypt, UAE and Jordan should improve to combat the crisis in the Middle East. There also should be an increase of supervision for survivors, in order for them to have access to mental health support. This is beneficial to civilians who escaped the crisis, especially to those who are free from hostages generated by Hamas.
Identifying and Preventing Foreign Interferance From State and Non-State Actors
We call upon the government to…
Prevent the use of misinformation in the media by fact checking articles that may be published. The government should investigate social media companies, about misinformation. In that way social media companies will most likely monitor misinformation.
Improve communication with the youth about factual information that is happening in the Israeli-Hamas conflict. By providing clear information with the use of social media, this will educate the youth about accurate information about the conflict.
Protect civilians from any propaganda that is being implemented by competing nations. Because propaganda will only increase tension between citizens, which will escalate unrest.
Enhance the prevention of uncredible articles and content in mainstream news outlets and social media platforms, to combat misinformation and biased content.
Restrain racism between religions and cultures. There has been an increase of “Anti- Semitism” and “Islamophobia” all throughout the country. The government should improve communication and enhance quality education to prevent inequality from occurring. This will also prevent violence and inequality and any sort of discrimination in civil society and in the workforce.
Prioritize the establishment of programs and collaboration between organizations that promote the prevention of misinformation. Also the government should call upon social media companies to hinder the spread of misinformation in social media platforms like Tik Tok, X , Facebook and Instagram.
What should be done in order to battle misinformation
The proper communication with the youth has to be implemented about this conflict, to prevent the spread of information that the US is increasing conflict. Because the US has been doing diplomatic negotiations with the G7, Jordan, Qatar and Egypt to increase funding for humanitarian aid in Gaza. Most of the youth are getting uncredible information via social media about the conflict, which can increase misinformation and disunity within our environment. Also, the ongoing trips of Secretary Blinken has to also be part of the information that will be communicated. Because in the last weeks, the US government has been improving diplomatic relations in Turkey and Jordan in order to address the conflict happening in the Middle East. The two states formulated a strategy to increase humanitarian support for victims in Gaza. However, the youth nowadays who are not in the field of foreign relations are not aware about the ongoing diplomatic negotiations the US government has had in the past few weeks. Diplomacy even began to improve with Turkey, the Secretary recently had a state visit in the state to improve diplomatic relations while addressing the conflict in the West Bank. There has to be an increase of credible information regarding the ongoing diplomatic trips the US government established, in order to give the right information to the youth about the conflict. Media outlets should also prevent bias and should release the proper information about the ongoing crisis. The government should establish a soft power program because they have to understand that some people rely on social media platforms for information about the conflict . If the right information is not released then disunity and chaos will occur. Because of the increase of misinformation then society will even be more divided, which can decrease progress in our world today.
About the authors
Arpan Patel, New York,
Apran is a human rights advocate from New York and is passionate about defending the rights of youth and youths in conflict zones. He is involved in MGCY and has been participating in youth declarations with the gorup. He was also a delegate for UNGA and the UN High Level Political Forum representing MGCY. And he is currently a student at The City University of New York majoring in Public Health. He aims to spread awareness about the importance of youth involvement in the global health sector and in the field of foreign relations. And to empower as much young leaders as he can to step up and to be a part of the policy making process in developing solutions to build a more prosperous society.
Linkedin: Arpan Patel
Alexa Dominique Pascual , New York-
Alexa is a women’s rights advocate and a youth delegate for diplomacy. She specializes in European Affairs, American Politics , European Politics , Middle Eastern Studies and Security Analysis. She is a youth ambassador for the United Nations and UN MGCY in summits like the UNGA and the UN high level political forum where she was able to represent American youth. She was also a youth delegate for the World Bank Youth Summit, where she represented Hallmark USA and the US specializing in women’s rights and security. She was also a speaker at the NATO Youth Summit, alongside the US Department of State where she talked about the importance of female representation in the field of diplomacy. She is currently an upcoming mentee for “Girl Security” where she is mentored by officials from the US Department of State and The US Department of Defense in the field of national security and intelligence. She is also a college ambassador for the “United To Beat Malaria Campaign “ under the UN Foundation, where she is tasked to talk to youths across the country and the world about the prevention of malaria. And about the importance of youth involvement in diplomacy and politics. She is also an advocate for The United Nations Association of The United States of America, where she participated in the “UNA-USA Youth Declaration on Gender Equality”she was also a youth delegate for UNA-USA in the Global Engagement Summit which was held at the UN Headquarters and the Leadership Summit which was held in Washington,DC. Alexa aims to inspire the youth and to represent the youth the best way possible. She aims to amplify female voices and female leadership all across the world and the country. She also aims to safeguard citizens who are facing crises and to inspire women to never be afraid to speak up, and fight for change.
Linkedin: Alexa Dominique Pascual
Yash Tadimalla , North Carolina
Sri Yash Tadimalla is a Ph.D. student in the College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte, where he is pursuing an interdisciplinary degree in Computer Science and Sociology. Serving as the incumbent General Secretary of the World Student Platform for Engineering Education and Development (SPEED) and the Technology Focal Point for UN MGCY Science Policy Interface, he advocates for the equitable advancement of engineering education on a global scale, actively fostering youth participation in STEM initiatives through engagements with the United Nations Major Group and stakeholder mechanisms. At UNC Charlotte he is assisting various NSF research projects under the Center for Education Innovation (CEI) Lab and the Human-Centered Computing (HCC) Lab. His research agenda explores how an individual's identity influences their interaction with and learning of technology, particularly in the domains of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computer Science (CS) education. Yash offers nuanced insights into the intricate links between educational and technological accessibility and global food and health insecurities, all profoundly shaped by his personal journey and experiences. He has showcased his research at distinguished international conferences across global locations including Sweden, Switzerland, North and Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and India.
Sean Schrader, Florida