What We’re Reading: July 25 Edition

Every week we publish a list of our favorite articles on human rights, video, and advocacy. This week features the promotion of LGBT rights in India, the use of social media to uncover the mystery behind the downed Malaysia Flight MH17 and much more.

Being Social on Social Media

Two interns with WITNESS’ social media team learned not only how to effectively share information with our followers, but how to create a strategy for engagement.

Marshaling Social Media to Tell Stories of Death Row Innocence

Too many cooks spoil the broth? Not anymore, says One for Ten producer Laura Shacham. She’s hitting the social media superhighway to bring hundreds of voices to the stories of death row exonerees.

You Are Being Watched: What Faceprints Mean for Generation Y

On July 18, YouTube launched a new tool that would enable users to blur the faces in the videos they uploaded, thereby protecting the identities of people featured in them. The platform explicitly identified the human rights threat as a primary motivator for this online technological development.

What Facebook’s Acquisition of Instagram Could Mean for Activists

“Conclusion: Occupy Facebook!” A recent analysis of Occupy Wall Street web analytics found that because Facebook users are an engaged community, those who come to www.occupywallst.org from Facebook spend more time on the website and interact with it more.

Video for Change Best Practices: Sharing and Uploading Human Rights Videos

Regardless if you are uploading unedited or edited footage, it is essential to provide the following information so your footage can be found and coordinated with other footage.

Videos Critique (Un)Democratic Election and Educate Voters in Yemen

Earlier this month, I spent some time in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. Last year I spent four months covering the pro-democracy movement that has forced the three decade old despot, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power to his deputy and current vice president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Video Advocacy Example: ‘Yo Me Declaro’ Campaign for Human Rights Defenders

In the human rights world we often talk about HRDs or ‘human rights defenders’ – but this is more than just an an acronym or a piece of jargon. Human rights defenders of every type play a key role in protecting, promoting and upholding the human rights of all of us. And they’re not just the people who work in NGOs like WITNESS or our partners.

Crowd-Sourcing Surveillance: When Does Little Brother Get Too Big?

On June 16, riots swept downtown Vancouver after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Final of the NHL’s Stanley Cup. The online response to the riots—a public campaign to name and shame rioters followed by a heated discussion regarding whether naming and shaming constitutes vigilantism or community policing—still rages.

Choosing Timing, Outreach and Platforms for Successful Online Fundraising

Thanks to incredible response from our supporters, WITNESS’ spring fundraising challenge has reached and exceeded our goal! To date, Project: FOCUS has raised $73,948 (that’s 106% of the $70,000 goal) and checks are still coming in.

Watch: Cameras Everywhere – Presentation at Re:Publica 2011

A couple of weeks ago I presented at Re:Publica, the largest social media conference in Germany. Since the conference gives a generous 50 minutes to its speakers I had the opportunity not only to talk about WITNESS and our work in general (first 10 minutes or so), but also to explain in some depth the video advocacy challenges and opportunities surfaced by events in the Middle East and North Africa as well as some of the emerging questions in our Cameras Everywhere initiative. Namely, how do human rights values and practicalities intersect in the new ubiquitous video moment?

Human Rights Video, Privacy and Visual Anonymity in the Facebook Age

The successful nationwide organizing and subsequent protests in Egypt to oust the 30-year regime of President Hosni Mubarak have in part been facilitated by Facebook. But as media and technology commentators and human rights activists alike are noting, using Facebook for activism is fraught with risks.

The Ethical Engagements of Human Rights Social Media

The explosion of digital media on human rights pushes us all to rethink how documentary film ethics apply in a more networked, social media-driven era.

Pump Up Your End-of-Year Fundraising Using Online Video

We’ve teamed up with See3 Communications, the interactive media and marketing experts for nonprofit and causes, for a series in how to use video creatively and effectively for fundraising online. We’re pleased to host the first post in this series, authored by See3 CEO Michael Hoffman.