Hotline for protestors in Lebanon to report violation of digital rights

On 18 October, demonstrations erupted in Lebanon to protest against a government proposal to impose taxes on calls made via WhatsApp and the severe economic conditions. To support the Lebanese demonstrations and help protesters stay safe online, Social Media Exchange (SMEX) launched a digital media initiative. To this aim, a hotline was launched to allow protesters to report on infringements against human rights online. Through this hotline, SMEX offered to help protesters regain access to their hacked social media accounts, improve security of users’ accounts through activating two-step verification, and unblocking access to live streaming. SMEX is foreseeing possible Internet shutdowns or disruptions during protests and has thus proactively published technical guidelines on how to communicate securely in case of a network disruption.