Citizen Evidence Lab: Amnesty International’s site to help verify Youtube videos

In the era of citizen journalism and technology boom, there is a thin line between ‘what is’ and ‘what I thought is’. Unfortunately, the line often gets blurred unknowingly or willingly. Amidst these known facts, we lose credibility and consume ‘what is’ and ‘what I thought is’ equally.


Internet, the democratic forum, has today provided us with a plethora of opportunities to hear and to be heard. This forum also helps journalists, human rights activists and researchers to understand and report the grass-root level issues.

All said and done, the question of credibility and reliability stands unanswered. To counter this situation and to provide emphasis on the news broadcasted by journalists and activists, Amnesty International has launched a new site, Citizen Evidence Lab, to help people verify and authenticate user-generated videos.

With special focus on Youtube videos, Amnesty has provided a step-by-step guide to help users verify and extract additional information relating to the video. Data such as the time when the video was uploaded, the history of the person who uploaded it and the place where the video was shot, can be verified by any user.

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The site compactly presents free online tools, exercises, tutorials and case studies which can help citizens evaluate the authenticity of a video available online.

Certainly, this step can be considered a giant leap towards helping users filter what they take and constraining the amount of invalid data flowing in.

However, only time will be able to measure the effectiveness of this move.

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