Earlier this month, Amnesty International Portugal launched tyrannybook, a new social media site designed to spotlight some of the world’s worst human rights violators. In what looks like a white-label version of Facebook, tyrannybook enables users to sign-in and begin ‘watching’ (not ‘liking’) these abusers and get updates via Amnesty reports, calls for action and fellow user submissions.
With this launch, there are ten tyrants are featured on the site that users can track: Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, Kim Jong Il of North Korea, Than Shwe of Burma, Hu Jintau of China, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Radovan Karadzic of Serbia, Aleksandr Lukashenka of Belarus and Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov of Chechnya. Users can get updates on these leaders’ activities and be notified of opportunities for citizen action.
Watching the site’s activity and noting how folks are already communicating on the site – particularly the discussions about who they think should be added to the list of tyrants – I think this innovative idea will take-off and grow quickly. Additionally, tyrannybook has integrated with Facebook via the oh-so-prevalent Facebook Connect, which should help spur interest and sign-ups.
Looking forward, I’m particularly interested in how the site will incorporate multimedia submissions and content to further contextualize those on watch and support the calls for action. Kudos to the Amnesty team and the web designers that have started something quite special (see a list of folks involved here).
For now, watch the tyrannybook video introduction.