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Human Rights
Innovation Spotlight

Using Open Source Data in Human Rights Investigations

As digital data proliferates, human rights investigations increasingly rely on open source information — data collected from publicly available sources, including social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — to identify, document, and verify human rights or international humanitarian law violations. Our Connected Civil Society Initiative works with the United Nations’ International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism (iiiM) on Syrian accountability along with an array of Syrian civil society organizations to use the estimated 4 million open source videos related to the conflict as evidence. By applying machine learning and computer vision to publicly available sources, we and the iiiM hope to uncover human rights violations and promote accountability and the rule of law in Syria and post-conflict settings worldwide.