skip to content

Social Media and Human Rights



Image: 27A ParoNacional © Rodrigo Barrera-Sagastume

Citizen Media Research and Verification: An Analytical Framework for Human Rights

Christoph Koettl, Senior Analyst, Amnesty International

March 8th, 2016, 4-5pm, SG2, Alison Richard Building

Co-hosted by the Centre of Governance and Human Rights


Christoph Koettl will launch his new report, 'Citizen Media Research and Verification: An Analytical Framework for Human Rights Practitioners,' at this event co-hosted by the Researching (with) Social Media group and the Centre of Governance and Human Rights.

This report, the first in a new CGHR Practitioner Paper Series on 'Human Rights in the Digital Age,' examines the role of open source research in human rights fact-finding and addresses a gap in the current literature -  which lacks a human rights perspective, is dominated by journalistic approaches, or focuses on specific tools. The report focuses on citizen media, the visual subset of open source information, and provides a practitioner’s perspective that is based on several years of analyzing open source materials for a global human rights group. It includes case studies on video and image verification and identifies best and worst practices.

The author argues that open source content, specifically citizen media, can play a crucial and increasingly important role in human rights documentation, if analyzed using sound and transparent methodologies based on well-established fact-finding principles. It presents, for the first time, a tool-independent analytical framework that will allow both seasoned and new human rights researchers to review and assess open source content. Specific recommendations are offered for human rights organizations, funders, academics, and technology companies in order to realize the full potential of open source content for human rights documentation.

Eventbrite - R(w)SM/CGHR Launch: Citizen Media Research & Verification for Human Rights


 Christoph Koettl is a Senior Analyst with Amnesty International, specializing in remote sensing, crisis mapping and open source research and verification. He is the founder and editor of the Citizen Evidence Lab.

Key reading

 Koettl, C., (January 2016) 'Citizen Media Research and Verification: An Analytical Framework for Human Rights Practitioners’, Human Rights in the Digital Age: CGHR Practitioner Paper 1, Cambridge: University of Cambridge Centre of Governance and Human Rights.

About this website

This is the website for Ella McPherson's work related to her 2014-17 ESRC-funded research project, Social Media, Human Rights NGOs, and the Potential for Governmental Accountability.