In the week of July 21, 2014, New Tactics in Human Rights facilitated a fantastic and much needed discussion on using video as evidence. The conversation is available online, and below is a video that addresses some of the most pertinent issues.
Learn the fundamentals of video validation by assessing a sample video from YouTube in our step-by-step guide (a.k.a “Stress Test”). An answer key will be provided at the end of the exercise.
A “reverse image search” allows you to search the internet for previous versions of the same picture. This is crucial for determining if an old image is being “recycled” as new. Especially during emergencies, old pictures are often posted online, and go viral due to uncritical re-sharing through social networks (this happens regularly both during complex emergencies and natural disasters).
Further, a reverse image search can also allow you to track down the original uploader of an image.
Tip: A reverse image search can also be highly useful to track down previous versions of YouTube videos! In this case, perform a reverse image search with the thumbnails that are created by YouTube when uploading a video (all three thumbnails created by YouTube can be extracted through the YouTube Data Viewer).
In case you’d like to do an analysis of the audio of a video, there’s a very easy way to extract the audio, using the handy 4K Video Downloader software.
Step 1: Install 4K Video Downloader
Step 2: Copy the video link
Step 3: Open 4K Video Downloader on your computer and click “Paste URL”
Photo: Screenshot of a video from the Syrian conflict after it has been removed by YouTube. Screenshot taken from YouTube.
The most compelling evidence of a human rights violation captured on video can be lost if investigators do not save the video in question. YouTube videos are often removed, either by the uploader themself, or by YouTube because of violations of its community guidelines. It is thus most crucial for any researcher to first save any video that is being investigated. This is for preservation purposes only.
Downloading and saving videos from YouTube for preservation is very easy. Several simple tools exist to help with this. In this short tutorial, we are using the 4K Video Downloader software, which allows you not only to download individual videos, but entire channels and playlists. Continue reading