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Young people in conflict zones, in particular, are prone to using social media as their only source of news, reminds ex-President Martti Ahtisaari.Nobel Peace Laureate Martti Ahtisaari has expressed his concerns about the role of social media in the distortion of history.

Ahtisaari reminded in his address in a conference organised by Historians without Borders that the abuse or deliberate misinterpretation of history is not exclusively a feature of the past but continues today especially on social media platforms.

“Social media has become a powerful tool in conflicts,” he said.

Young people in conflict zones, in particular, are prone to using social media as their only source of news, according to the ex-President of Finland. “If we're unable to reach out to people through their own channels, we risk losing them to extremist thinking,” he warned.

The conference was organised in order to contemplate how historians could prevent the abuse of history and promote the resolution of conflicts by means of an international network. Its guests included Margaret McMillan, a professor at the University of Oxford, and Bernard Kouchner, a co-founder of Doctors without Borders and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of France.

Historians without Borders was founded by Erkki Tuomioja (SDP), an ex-Minister for Foreign Affairs. Tuomioja similarly drew attention to the abuse and misinterpretation of history during conflicts in his opening remarks in Helsinki on Thursday.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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