On the intersection of technology, culture, and everyday life: My semi-updated space to collect and link my thoughts about interesting things I spot.
YouTube blasted the little-known, lip-synching Chinese "Back Dorm Boys" across the world into an Internet phenomenum. Could it do the same for human rights violations in China (and elsewhere)? In creating The Human Rights Video Hub, nonprofits Witness and Global Voices think so. Tapping into the viral nature of user-generated content, the partnership hopes to aggregate, attract attention, and spark calls to action against human rights abuses. The hub aims to be the destination where anyone can upload and share first-hand video recorded on mobiles/handhelds documenting police brutality, anti-gay violence, and other human rights violations.
So far, the number of posts has been modest. Aside from the common issues of filtering and quality control faced by all user-generated, aggregator communities, there are unique challenges in transferring the delicate work of human rights online. Tricky questions include how to protect submitter anonymity, how to deal with graphic sexual and violent content, and how to verify credibility (more details on MediaShift). For now, someone is at least investing the time and money to experiment.