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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Thursday, May 17 • 10:30 - 11:45
Social Media Takedowns: Protecting Who?

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In June 2017, Google announced four steps intended to fight terrorism online - including more serious detection and faster removal of content related to violent extremism. The human rights activist organization Syrian Archive lost 400,000 videos overnight. In September 2017, Facebook  sanctioned Rohingya activists for posting videos depicting the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya villages in Myanmar for violating their terms of service, which ban graphic videos. Twitter has long succumbed to requests from the Turkish government to take down tweets criticizing the state. While these takedowns are currently retrievable when the human rights community knows they have happened and can react to them, what happens when the efficiency of the removal system means the human rights community does not even know the content existed before it disappears? In this panel, experts in using social media and open source information for human rights investigations will discuss what can be done about this situation. It will ask who the takedowns are protecting and why, the problems around trusting publicly listed corporations with stories opression, the challenges for activist groups who need to let the world know about the abuses they're suffering, the ramifications for such takedowns and, Crucially, what solutions may be possible to balance out the pressure on social media networks to comply with local legislation with the need for survivors to share stories of human rights abuses.

avatar for Christoph Koettl

Christoph Koettl

New York Times

avatar for Anna Veronica Banchik

Anna Veronica Banchik

PhD Candidate, University of Texas - Austin
Anna Banchik is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin with interdisciplinary interests at the intersection of science and technology studies, visual culture, knowledge production, and social movements. Her dissertation examines how online open-source investigations... Read More →
avatar for Scott Edwards

Scott Edwards

Senior Adviser, Amnesty International
Scott Edwards is a Senior Adviser at Amnesty International. He has written and worked extensively on complex humanitarian crises, protection, and armed conflict. His current professional activity focuses on innovations in human rights compliance monitoring, and the human rights implications... Read More →

Dia Kayyali

Program Manager, tech + advocacy, WITNESS
Dia Kayyali coordinates WITNESS’ tech + advocacy work, engaging with technology companies and working on tools and policies that help human rights advocates safely, securely and ethically document human rights abuses and expose them to the world.
avatar for Alexa Koenig

Alexa Koenig

Executive Director, Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley
Alexa is the executive director of the Human Rights Center (winner of the 2015 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions) and a lecturer-in-residence at UC Berkeley School of Law, where she teaches classes on human rights and international criminal law. She co-chairs... Read More →

Thursday May 17, 2018 10:30 - 11:45 EDT