TODAY: The UN International Day Against Torture

An important date
The United Nations has designated 26thJune as the International Day Against Torture to emphasize the importance of the right to personal dignity and security of all individuals around the world, guaranteed within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Through joined efforts from bloggers all over the world, today will hopefully be a day where people pay attention this important issue.

We have chosen to use this day and this blog post to pay tribute to people fighting on this cause everyday and the fact that torture is much closer to you than you think.

The IRCT
Through the last 8 months we at Mindjumpers have been working closely together with a very dedicated team of people at the NGO, International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims.The IRCT is a global organisation that is the umbrella for more than 140 independent torture rehabilitation organisations in more than 70 countries. Each year their members treat more than 100,000 torture survivors and their families. The IRCT has over 25 years’ experience.

World Without Torture
World Without Torture is a global proactive community, a movement of people who share a dream and fight for a World Without Torture. It was launched on Facebook in May 26, 2010 and got more than 2000 supporters from 40 different countries in the first two weeks. By joining the community people can make a difference by:

• Raising awareness about torture
• Breaking the silence surrounding torture
• Learning about torture issues that the world is facing today
• Hearing the untold stories of victims of torture and let them know that their voices are being heard
• Helping keep their stories alive – if we forget, we accept
• Celebrating and supporting the people who fight torture around the world every day
• Participating in discussions and activities

Torture is closer to you than you think
A lot of people in the western world think that torture is far away. But in fact, it could not be any longer from the truth. Torture is by far not only a physical pain, the real torture is often the mental aspect afterwards, the struggle to go on with life, living with a terrible pain.

Everyday in our western society in the western world, we live among refuges that have been tortured, humans going through the worst imagining pain everyday. The families of torture victims are of course very inflicted and so are you, they are your colleagues, your friends, the guy driving the cap, delivering your pizza, they can be your teacher, your boss, it could be the family of your child’s best friend.

So if you think it’s far away and no concern of yours – stop – and start acting!

I call upon everybody with just a bit of kindness within, to start putting pressure on governments around the world to stop torture. Start supporting those people fighting everyday helping the victims of torture! Start to care about the humans inflicted by torture, the victims, the survivors – if not for anybody else, do it for yourself!

This post is dedicated to the people working at the 170 RCT (Torture Rehabilitation Centers) around the world, the men and woman that have chosen to stand in the front line, spending their lives to help others – these people get my outmost respect and tribute.

Social Media Trends, Prospects, and Challenges in India

Our ever-growing global network of Local Social Media Managers around the world helps us ensure contextually relevant content through social listening, content production and response management. It’s a network of very talented people who possess great knowledge of social media in their local context – one of them being Nishanth Krish from India who shares his insights into the social media trends, prospects and challenges in India right now.

 

 

India is a mobile first country where 41% of total mobile users are active on social media. And it remains the fastest growing market for social networks in the world. The increasing affordability and use of Smartphones as internet devices means India is serving data to almost one billion mobile phones, and an individual spends an average of 3 hours on social media every day irrespective of device.
However, this rise of social media adoption among Indians has led to a growing concern over poor Internet speed in the country. Internet access is still unevenly distributed with connection speeds remaining disappointingly slow at just 2 Mbps on average, far below the global average of 4.5 Mbps.

Digital India, a program to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy by the government is expected to enable high-speed Internet connectivity across the length and breadth of the country, which will ultimately join the social media bandwagon and create a positive network effect for further growth.

 

Personalized Content is the Key

As much as our counterparts in other countries do, we consume content, but are averse to sharing. We Indians are conservative by nature and often not as open to sharing content online. Brands have realized that social media is not only about posting brand updates, but also about driving engagement by creating meaningful conversations. In our country of diverse culture, language and practices, brands are developing customized content, which is both relevant and appealing. Top brands such as PepsiCo and Bharti Airtel have integrated regional languages into their digital campaigns, resulting in more than 150% engagement compared to identical English posts.

Indians today are looking for a more personalized social networking platform where they can communicate with different groups of people. As eyeballs have shifted into the digital world, media spend has been following suit. Indian advertisers are spending far more on social media ads compared to their global counterparts. India is projected to be amongst the top three countries in the APAC region as regards its CAGR (2012-2016) in digital media ad spend and many brands have effectively developed tactics to enhance visibility by investing in promoted posts/tweets that carry targeted information about offers, coupons and contests through custom targeting.

Social media platforms have been a melting pot for running promotional campaigns for e-tailers understanding the different user behavior attributes, interests and changing buying behavior patterns. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, and e-commerce brands like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal are blending their assets across platforms to tap into customer preferences. Moreover, e-tailers are reducing the length of the purchase cycle by using features like the ‘Get Deals’ button.

 

Catching the Eye Balls

Images and short format videos are gaining traction in India. Visual rich media content clearly dominates the social media space and gains the majority of engagement with Indian audiences as more people than ever before are sharing, discovering and engaging with videos on Facebook and as content creators build and engage a global audience. From increasing audience traffic to digital publishers and the high level of online conversation during major events, this growth in content discovery and discussion is taking place across social platforms.

 

Reaching the Rural 

The soul of India lives in its villages with 60 percent of the population residing here. To reach the under-penetrated areas, Facebook has initiated the Internet.org project with a vision to provide basic mobile Internet services for free. The service is run by Internet.org in collaboration with a number of telecom players. This service is available in English and six local languages — Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi — and can be accessed via a dedicated Android app.

Facebook is by far the social networking platform with the widest reach, boasting of 118 million monthly active users in India, out of which 55-60 million are daily active users. 95 per cent of these users are ‘mobile-also’ users.

Twitter has specialized its service for the Indian audience with hashtags in regional languages and the ability to support regional language scripts, which has helped the social networking giant to reach out to the large number of non-English users in India who were previously untouched by the phenomenon of micro blogging.

Twitter in India takes center stage for breaking news and special events, bolstered by its partnership with broadcasters and media distributers. These partnerships have allowed Twitter to make the most of product innovations like polls, audio cards and the ability to share videos on the platform. Its rich media tweets gain far more reach than standard text-only tweets.

 

Focus on Social Mobile

Whether it’s discovering information about a breaking news story or an upcoming TV show, an exclusive screening of a movie trailer first or celebrities engaging with fans in authentic and meaningful ways, people converse on social media around the things that matter most.

As Indians continue to gain access to cheaper smartphones and data plans, with shifting platform preferences, it is imperative that brands shift focus to social mobile communications to reach out to an audience that are always on the go.

The future of social media marketing is expected to be mobile driven and in the year ahead it is most likely that we will be seeing more contextual and location centric content, helping brands to evaluate the different platforms better with accurate reporting capabilities for tracking engagement.