Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web Helps Guard Human Rights with $1M Grant to WITNESS

Announcements, Blockchain, Investing, News | November 5, 2021 By:

Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web (FFDW) has announced their grant to WITNESS, an international nonprofit organization that helps people use video and technology to create, preserve, and use human rights records.

The proliferation of smartphones and social media have played a critical role in documenting human rights abuses across the world. However, at the same time, misinformation and disinformation have become widespread, casting doubt on the videos and images people share. New technological innovations make it easier to document, but also easier to manipulate media (i.e. ‘shallowfakes’ and ‘deepfakes’).

FFDW said that it is helping combat this misinformation with a $1 million grant to WITNESS. WITNESS pioneered the collection of digital media as evidence to support activists and lawyers working on behalf of those whose civil rights have been violated. Together, FFDW and WITNESS will leverage decentralized web infrastructure to help preserve human rights truths that are at risk of being lost, misrepresented, or manipulated.

According to WITNESS, the FFDW grant will enable them to support communities to preserve human rights records that are at risk of being lost, misrepresented, or manipulated, and explore how decentralized technology can support these efforts. The multi-pronged approach will include developing community-based archives to gather and preserve important evidence;
influencing authenticity infrastructure (an emerging set of technologies that helps track the provenance and manipulations of media to combat misinformation) to ensure the terms for trust are set by at-risk communities and not just technology companies; and encouraging learning and sharing between at-risk-communities to develop ground-tested resources, tools, and practices.

“Everyday, a growing number of civic journalists and smartphone witnesses are creating and preserving human rights records,” said WITNESS Program Director Sam Gregory. “Whether their efforts lead to justice is shaped by an ecosystem of emerging technologies that are often distant and unaccountable to their needs. We’re optimistic that decentralized technology can help us further our efforts to safeguard the voices and narratives of historically marginalized groups and ensure they can be leveraged to bring accountability.”