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Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR)


8th March 2016

Citizen media research and verification: an analytical framework for human rights

Read the report

Christoph Koettl, Senior Analyst, Amnesty International

Christoph Koettl launches his new report, ‘Citizen Media Research and Verification: An Analytical Framework for Human RightsPractitioners,’ at this event co-hosted by the Researching (with) Social Media group and the Centre of Governance and Human Rights.

This report, the first in a new CGHR Practitioner Paper Series on ‘Human Rights in the Digital Age,’ 

examines the role of open source research in human rights fact-finding and addresses a gap in the current literature – which lacks a human rights perspective, is dominated by journalistic approaches, or focuses on specific tools. The report focuses on citizen media, the visual subset of open source information, and provides a practitioner’s perspective that is based on several years of analyzingopen source materials for a global human rights group. It includes case studies on video and image verification and identifies best and worst practices.

The author argues that open source content, specifically citizen media, can play a crucial and increasingly important role in human rights documentation, if analyzed using sound and transparent methodologies based on well-established fact-finding principles. It presents, for the first time, a tool-independent analytical framework that will allow both seasoned and new human rights researchers to review and assess open source content. Specific recommendations are offered for human rights organizations, funders, academics, and technology companies in order to realize the full potential of open source content for human rights documentation.

Watch the launch.