Challenging Impunity with User Generated Content, by Jay Aronson

This blog post builds upon, and amplifies, Megan Price’s excellent analysis of the challenges of using found data and user generated content in human rights investigations in the previous technology for truth blog post. As someone who has been engaged in the development of new technologies and approaches to human rights fact-finding for the past several years, her warnings rang especially true to me. That said, I would also like to make the case that user generated videos or photographs can provide crucial information and reliable legal evidence in certain instances, even when the information emerges from a biased and unrepresentative sample. These situations revolve primarily around determining what happened at a particular time and place, identifying who was present when an event happened, or determining conditions in a place that is not currently accessible by human rights investigators.

This blog is a part of International Justice Monitor’s technology for truth series, which focuses on the use of technology for evidence and features views from key proponents in the field. Read more at