“When the Truth Is on Facebook, What Is the Future for Atrocity-Resolving Truth Commissions?”
Truth commissions are investigative bodies typically created in the wake of violent conflict and brutal rule. They document and analyze past atrocities with the goal of building the foundations for a better social order. The core principle of a truth commission is that systematic human rights violations are an assault on truth because they hide reprehensible misuse of power, and silence victims. Historically, truth commissions have done their work by investigating the files of the secret police and interviewing hundreds of victims – a notoriously difficult, expensive and time-consuming process. Increasingly, however, the truth that truth commissions seek to uncover is being stored in the cloud. That means entirely new methodologies – like data-mining – may be transformative. This workshop will determine how truth commissions will get at truth in the age of Google, Facebook, and YouTube.