El Grito de Sunset Park Use Case
Before sharing your work publicly, it is important to revisit your initial conversations around safety, consent and ethics.
- What legal and security risks might you or your partners may face for publishing this work?
- Do you anticipate backlash for publishing this work? What can you do to prepare to respond in advance?
- Do you need to notify people and request consent for using peoples image in photos or videos?
- Are you sharing any content that might expose personal details or identities?
- Check your work and ask others to review it too!
Real Life Safety Risks
This checklist is based on our project with El Grito. Adapt it to meet the needs of your work.
Informed consent: Have you discussed potential safety risks and secured consent from the people shown in your videos or mentioned in your project? Do you need to obscure anyones’ identity? See the template consent form we used for this project or check out these resources for more information: Obtaining Informed Consent, Concealing Identities, Using YouTube’s Blurring Tool
Ethically Sharing Eyewitness Videos: Sharing videos that are filmed or uploaded by others can have unintended consequences if for the filmer, uploader and people in the video. Consider potential safety risks. Are you revealing anyone’s identity or location? Has the video been verified? Have you asked if/how the filmer wants to be credited? Check out this guidance and checklist in our Ethical Guidelines: Using Eyewitness videos in Human Rights Reporting and Advocacy.
Secure Your Work: If you’re working with sensitive data or assets, confirm that everything is backed up on a secure server or drive. If working with online content created or uploaded by others, consider downloading the articles/images/videos you are working with. Take screenshots of websites or social media posts to preserve them in case they’re taken down.
Exposing Personal and Sensitive Details: If you’re sharing legal documents, check with a lawyer to ensure that making them public will not interfere with legal proceedings or expose sensitive information. Be sure to review the documents for personal addresses and other personal information that may need to be redacted.
Anticipating backlash and trolls: If you’re releasing videos and data around sensitive social and political issues, it’s likely that you will face some criticism and blow-back from people who don’t support your work. Planning how to respond in advance is important. Regardless of whether your strategy is to agitate, shame, point fingers or inform, here’s a few ideas for creating a crisis plan:
- Discuss possible security threats and online trolling with anyone on your team who could become a target. What risks are people willing to take? Does everyone feel comfortable being publicly listed as being involved with the project.
- Discuss the project with other colleagues/collaborators/supporters so they are informed about the strategy and can ask questions and provide feedback.
- Share talking points with your team so the message you’re sending is consistent and strong.
- Prepare a press release so you have the opportunity to frame your work in the way you want it to be seen.
- Develop a policy around how to respond (or not respond) to hostile online comments.
- Before the launch, prepare draft social media language that can quickly be shared in response to questions or to add context.
Understanding Doxing: Doxing, or the practice of revealing sensitive personal details about people online, has become an increasingly common tactic for threatening and intimidating activists. It can have serious real life consequences. Before launching your project, make sure you are understand what information about you is available online and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and the people you’re working with. Read this excellent guide on Anti-Doxing from Equality Labs for more information.