Peer Producing Human Rights
University of Connecticut School of Law
November 19, 2010
Alberta Law Review, Vol. 46, No. 4, 2009
NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09/10 #12
The growth of collaborative technologies has spurred the development of projects such as Wikipedia, in which large groups of volunteers contribute to production in a decentralized and open format. The author analyzes how these methods of peer-based production can be applied to advance international human rights as well as the limitations of such a model in this field. An underlying characteristic of peer-based production, amateurism, increases capacity and participation. However, the involvement of ordinary individuals in the production of human rights reporting is also its greatest disadvantage, since human rights reports generated by citizen activists are less likely to be perceived as accurate, thereby detracting from the effectiveness of those reports. The author examines methods by which these disadvantages might be overcome and concludes by advocating for a collaborative approach, whereby peer-based production is augmented by training and certification by local professionals.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: international human rights, human rights, social movements, internet, social networking, peer production, online organizing, online activism, citizen activism, technology, human rights reporting, human rights research
JEL Classification: L3, L31, O3Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 22, 2009 ; Last revised: November 23, 2010
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