Whose History? Democratizing Narrative Agency and Securing Self Expression

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Whose History? Democratizing Narrative Agency and Securing Self Expression
Presenter(s) Natalie Cadranel, Matthew Stender
Title(s) Intersectional Archivist & Founder of OpenArchive; Tech Ethicist and Project Strategist, Onlinecensorship.org
Organization(s) OpenArchive, Onlinecensorship.org
Project(s)
Country(ies) United States and Germany
Social media
2017 theme Tools & Technology

Citizens armed with mobile devices are becoming history’s first responders, amassing rich, contextualized, and crucial records of today’s breaking news. However, most of these recordings presently reside on social media platforms that can chill free speech and are subject to government censorship, privacy breaches, and data loss. While social media is an acceptable distribution platform, it does not provide sufficient privacy protections or archival preservation of this vital media. The groups on this panel believe digital freedom is a human right and are working to ensure ethics and civil liberties are woven into the fabric of the technologies that serve their communities.

This session will provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities faced by human-rights technologists working to create accurate, preservation-standard records online from a technical and community-based participatory design perspective.

We will discuss the ways our work strives to improve digital agency. We will discuss how the technologies we build address issues arising at the intersection of human rights, free speech, self expression, and narrative agency.

We want to take advantage of the uniquely attuned group assembled in Valencia to bring the narrative to the forefront in a cohesive, substantial, and action-oriented way. With expertise in privacy usability, archivist and documentarian, Natalie Cadranel will discuss the tools, tactics, and ethics involved with collecting, authenticating, and preserving sensitive mobile media. Core to this is verifying and analysing this mass of content, as well as other challenges including preserving online and offline content and making content accessible and understandable.

OpenArchive preserves, amplifies, and routes mobile media to user-created collections in an accessible public trust, outside the corporate walled gardens currently dominating the online media ecosystem. Currently available for Android, highlights include adding metadata and Creative Commons licensing to audiovisual mobile media and sending it to the Internet Archive over Tor. As it is an open source app, it can white-labeled to route mobile media to partner organizations who may be receiving more sensitive media. This tool evolved from working closely with at-risk and marginalized groups over the past 5 years to afford them more agency in the lifecycle of their media.

The panel will be followed by a workshop and training where we can share our technologies with the IFF community and gain valuable feedback for future improvements.


Format Panel and Workshop
Target Groups Journalists, Security Trainers, Usability, Professional Communications, Professionals Academia, Front Line Activists, philanthropists
Length 1 hour
Skill Level Novice
Language English


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