We had some conversations earlier this year about the problem of human rights resources disappearing from the web, either due to malfeasance or the whims of individuals. There’s quite a bit of work being done on internet archiving and memory generally (including the Berkman Center’s Internet Robustness Project), but there’s a lot more that could be done. We’re especially keen to see work that focuses on coordination between human rights resource producers, funders and users. Some conversations around this have led the short manifesto below. We think it’s a good place to start.
Manifesto for Human Rights Resource Creators
As the creators of resources for human rights defenders, we value:
- the experience and knowledge of practitioners
- the openness of practitioners to share their experience and knowledge through collaboratively-created resources
- the ability for human rights defenders to learn from the experience and knowledge of their peers
- transparency regarding the use and preservation of the resource
- clearly identifying the timeliness of resources, and the benefits and risks posed by outdated resources
One person or organization should not have the power to erase information we use from the internet or to bar access to it, especially when it has been conceived, funded, and produced as a public good. As a community of human rights defenders, we need to design a better solution for how to protect and preserve our information.
Therefore, we commit to preserving these resources so that they exist beyond the lifespan of an organization or individual.
This manifesto came out of offline and online discussions around the disappearance of the mobileactive.org resources.