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Facebook, Google, others sponsor youth activism summit

YouTube, MTV, and others are also on board for a New York event next month that hopes to use a successful anti-extremism campaign on Facebook as a springboard for more social-media activism.

Alliance of Youth Movements Summit
Howcast Media

Facebook, Google, and the Google-owned YouTube are among the sponsors for the Alliance of Youth Movements Summit, an event taking place at New York's Columbia Law School from December 3-5.

Along with other collaborators--which include the U.S. Department of State, MTV, Access 360 Media, and start-up Howcast--the event hopes to "find (the) best ways to use digital media to promote freedom and justice, and counter violence, extremism, and oppression."

The companies have amassed 17 leaders of different activist groups and hope to bring them together to come up with a common set of principles and strategies, inspired by a movement against a Colombian extremist group that was formed and organized on Facebook.

"Aided by social-networking technologies, the organization inspired 12 million people in 190 cities around the world to take to the streets in protest against the FARC, an extremist group that has been terrorizing Colombia for more than 40 years," an announcement of the summit read. "The magnitude of the marches illustrated once and for all that the FARC lacked a strong support base. Within days of the protests, the FARC witnessed massive desertions from their ranks."

Speakers at next month's summit include Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskowitz, actress and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg, and State Department Undersecretary James K. Glassman.

The State Department has already partnered with YouTube for its "Democracy Challenge," a moviemaking competition in conjunction with several film schools. And in the wake of the 2008 presidential election, Facebook has been stepping up its activism and outreach efforts; earlier this fall, it sponsored the ServiceNation summit.