Meedan at #Rightscon = Translation for Crisis Responders + Countering Social Media Manipulation + Open Source Investigation

Meedan designs and develops open source tools (Check, Bridge + Keep) for human rights researchers, investigative journalists, transparency advocates and humanitarian responders. In recent years, our human rights related work has developed in three main directions:

  • First, in the curation, preservation and verification of eyewitness and “open source” media for advocacy and accountability
  • Second, in humanitarian translation, to provide a language shelter for displaced people and build collaborative translation as a crisis response.
  • Third, in building collaborative platforms for journalists and civil society to work together to find, verify and debunk claims and viral misinformation around elections.

Among many initiatives, our work has taken us to various inspiring and compelling projects, including humanitarian translation in Europe’s refugee camps, investigating war crimes and chemical weapons attacks in Syria, digital election monitoring in Kenya, and combating viral misinformation in Mexico and the Philippines. We are excited to join RightsCon Toronto 2018, to share and gain new experiences.

Here’s a detailed guide for all Meedan’s sessions — we hope to see you there!

Tech Demo Block #4 : Thursday, May 17 • (14:30–15:45)

- Translation Project: A translation suite for humanitarian organizations

Speakers: An Xiao Mina & Olly Farshi & Natasha Jimenez

The Translation Project builds on Bridge, Meedan’s tool for collaborative translation of digital media, and Translation Cards, a tool enabling field workers and refugees to communicate more effectively. The app received an award for innovation from the United Nations. We’ll talk about use cases in the field, in refugee sites in southern Serbia and Greece, and talk about our plans for the Translation Project, a searchable database of vetted translations tailor made for humanitarian workers. We’ll also talk about how Bridge is used at RightsCon to translate and engage social media for RightsCon’s global community.

Thursday, May 17 • (17:15–18:15)
- Open Source Tech for Open Source Investigation

Tom Trewinnard and Hadi Al Khatib will be at the Demo room introduce an emergent open source tech stack supporting the scraping, preservation, verification and analysis of citizen media for human rights documentation and advocacy: scraper suite Sugarcube collaborative verification platform Check, and machine vision framework VFrame. 
To follow Tom’s full schedule here:

Tech Demo Block #6: Friday, May 18 • (09:00–10:15)

  • Check and Keep: Advanced Verification and Archival Tools for Journalists and Researchers
While eyewitness media is increasingly vital to news coverage and human rights research, trust in social media content is rapidly dropping. In this setting researchers are challenged to develop new competencies in verifying and vetting online content. Meedan hopes to demo two tools from our product suite, Check and Keep, which work together for smart verification and archiving of eyewitness media from a wide variety of online sources..
Tom Trewinnard and An Xiao Mina will demo both tools and how they’ve been used by teams at UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center, the Syrian Archive and the University of Hong Kong in their work, and we’ll discuss how these tools can be effectively used by human rights researchers and journalists.

Friday, May 18 • (09:00–10:15)

In this workshop, An Xiao Mina is joining Joan Donovan, and Claire Wardle, they will seek to identify and put into place better mechanisms to coordinate research efforts and to link together researchers with practitioners. They plan to identify new opportunities for collaboration and to enhance current efforts at coordination, and ultimately foster peer support networks and mechanisms.

Friday, May 18 • (16:00–17:00)

An Xiao Mina, and Harlem Desir will speak about how to come closer to identifying solutions, this workshop will aim to address the following questions: What policies should democratic governments consider in order to combat the issue of manipulation, particularly from abroad and particularly during elections? What role should tech companies play in efforts to combat manipulation? Is self-regulation sufficient? and more.
Mina is also moderating a couple of session about language access and humanitarian response, secure UX princibles, and informational flow in natural disasters from fakes news to rumors, to see An’s full scheduel here:

For the 3rd year, we are leading a translation effort to translate the best tweets of #rightscon to Arabic, Spanish, and French in cooperation with Accessnow and Global Voices Lingua.