The WITNESS Media Lab is dedicated to unleashing the potential of eyewitness video as a powerful tool to report, monitor, and advocate for human rights.

This video is from a project documenting immigrant abuses, “Eyes on Ice

We believe that the next stage of human rights documentation and advocacy will be powered by videos created and shared by eyewitnesses. Our work addresses the challenges of finding, verifying, and contextualizing those videos.

In collaboration with peers from the fields of advocacy, technology, and journalism, we develop solutions to ensure that footage taken by average citizens can serve as an effective tool for justice.

The WITNESS Media Lab is a project of WITNESS and the Google News Initiative.


Legal Video Advocacy

To help reduce the massive U.S. prison population and to promote human dignity and growth over punishment and retribution, this project aims to support advocates, lawyers, and incarcerated individuals in using video to seek parole, clemency and sentencing mitigation.

Ticks Or It Didn’t Happen

WITNESS supports critical research into pros and cons of approaches to deepfakes and mis/disinformation mitigation that focus on tracking the authenticity and provenance of audiovisual media.

Deepfakes: Prepare Now (Perspectives From Brazil)

Report and recommendations: WITNESS facilitates community-level discussion and national level convening to support inclusion of perspectives from Brazil in global discussion on deepfakes threats and solutions.

How do we work together to detect AI-manipulated media?

Synthesis Report: Expert meeting and knowledge exchange between i) leading researchers in media forensics and detection of deepfakes and other new forms of AI-based media manipulation and ii) leading experts in social newsgathering, UGC and OSINT verification and fact-checking.

Prepare, Don’t Panic: Synthetic Media and Deepfakes

This project focuses around the emerging and potential malicious uses of so-called “deepfakes” and other forms of AI-generated “synthetic media” and how we push back to defend evidence, the truth and freedom of expression.

Perpetrator Video in the Middle East and North Africa

This project examines how human rights advocates and journalists can turn the proliferation of eyewitness and perpetrator video into more ethical and effective storytelling and documentation of human rights abuse in the MENA.

Profiling the Police

This collaboration between WITNESS Media Lab and El Grito de Sunset Park  looks at over 300 hours of police abuse footage. In this project we share our learnings, tips and tools for organizing, analyzing and preserving human rights video collections to help ensure greater transparency and accountability.

EYES ON ICE: Documenting Immigrant Abuses

This project examines the challenges and possibilities of using video to document encounters with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement(ICE) in the U.S for justice.

The People’s Database for Police Accountability

A set of tools and guidance from WITNESS and Berkeley Copwatch to support community-based police accountability groups in collecting, organizing, and storing documentation of police encounters. This allows for more effectively and quickly conducting investigations, coordinate justice campaigns, and challenge unjust laws, policies, and police practices.


Help WITNESS create more human rights change

Join us by subscribing to our newsletter.