Social Media Protocol for Evidence of War Crimes

Berkeley Law announced the first global protocol has been set to aid in using social media for war crime investigations.

Launched in 2016, the center’s Investigations Lab is the first university-based open source investigations unit to discover and verify human rights violations and potential war crimes — with over 75 students who collectively speak 30 languages contributing verified information to international NGOs, news organizations, and legal partners. As the lab’s prominence and role helping human rights lawyers collect and analyze information from social media grew, more questions flowed in from organizations worldwide.

“We couldn’t answer most of them, including specifics about how user-generated content should be collected and stored to ensure its utility in future legal proceedings,” [HRC Executive Director Alexa] Koenig says. “We realized we weren’t alone in struggling to make sense of this relatively new field of practice and that we needed to meet the moment.”

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