This article examines the preservation of digital images and video (and the social media or Internet pages in which they are embedded) that provide information about human rights abuses and war crimes. Archival collections have played a crucial role in historical clarification and justice and accountability efforts in the aftermath of human rights abuse and war crimes. The ubiquity of smart phones with good cameras and social media has dramatically increased the amount of visual data available to investigate such crimes. However, this data often disappears quickly from public view and can be challenging to introduce into legal or other official proceedings because of questions of authenticity. The analysis presented here integrates insights from archival science, human rights documentation, and law. It also highlights important technical, legal, and ethical issues that must be taken into consideration by organizations or individuals engaged in the preservation of human rights media.
This work was supported by grants from the MacArthur Foundation, Oak Foundation, and Humanity United. The author would like to thank Yvonne Ng for her critical comments and collegiality throughout the drafting of this article. He would also like to thank Wendy Betts and Jarrett Drake for their feedback on later versions.
Aronson, Jay D.
"Preserving Human Rights Media for Justice, Accountability, and Historical Clarification,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol11/iss1/9
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