Photo by Sean Mathis.

SXSW, held every spring in Austin, Texas, is one of the premier technology and arts conferences in the world. WITNESS works hard to stay on the cutting edge of online activism, and to share what we’re learning with others. We’ve proposed two panels we’re really excited about, and we’ve highlighted 5 panels that we think are awesome, but we need your help to make them happen.

Only a small percentage of the thousands of proposals get accepted, and public voting accounts for 30% of the selection process and ends today. So please take a minute to log in or create an SXSW account here. Then you can vote for these panels below to help make sure that WITNESS and our allies can put human rights on the agenda in a big way!

Caught In The Act: Mobile Tech & Human Rights – WITNESS, Amnesty International & the Guardian Project

Human rights activists are increasingly turning to mobile technology for help in documenting, visualizing, and prosecuting human rights abuses. Unfortunately, human rights violators often harness similar technologies to silence activists. Hear human rights and technologist perspectives, and learn what mobile technologies are needed to help tip the balance.

Let’s Use Immersion and Co-Presence Tech for Good? – WITNESS

What are the actual and potential usages for social good, and particularly human rights activism, of technologies of wearable computing, live video, immersive media and co-presence? What are the ethical questions that arise as we try to use these tools for good?

Hacking Attention: Media, Technology and Crisis – WITNESS, Free Press, MIT Media Lab, University of Denver

Superstorms, bombings and protests around the globe are challenging the way people use technology to respond to crisis and conflict. Journalists, hackers and local people are collaborating to better cover, communicate and support their communities. Using new technology, people all over the planet can participate in providing aid in various forms.

How The Marriage Equality Fight Won The Internet – Human Rights Campaign, Bully Pulpit Interactive

When the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and Prop 8 for being unconstitutional, citizens across the United States rejoiced and shared their feelings online. Learn about how The Human Rights Campaign and other LGBT organizations captured this key moment using social media, advertising, email and organizing tactics to ensure that this victory was not only celebrated at an individual level, but at an organizational one as well.

Activism on the Internet: You’re Doing it Wrong – Stephanie Bogdanich and Laura Beck

“Thug Kitchen”, “Raw Vegan Not Gross” & events like the LA Vegan Beer Fest all have their roots in online activism. We will present original research that takes a look at how strategies have connected with both the media and the internet public at large & how we can effectively grow an activist community online.We’re creating a network of allies in other intersectional causes like human rights, environmentalism, fair-trade, and health & nutrition issues.

The Future of Direct Activism in the Digital Age – Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Greenpeace, SumofUS

Climbing a smokestack or chaining yourself to a tree is so 20th century (though still awesome!). What can civil disobedience and non-violent direct action look like online? From Aaron Swartz’s freeing of information to a whistleblower like Edward Snowden to Anonymous-style hacking, we’ll examine how different actors are showing the way forward, and explore where the activist community can go in this area.

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