MEU guide for distant witnesses
Scroll down for instructions
Download app
Tap on this link and the apk file will download. Make sure you give permission to do so by choosing “Settings” when prompted and then accept to allow installation of apps from unknown sources, but just this time only. Finally, select install to download the app. If you are participating through your laptop or desktop, skip this step.
The registration process is simple and just requires that you give a name (any name!) and email just so we guarantee we have trustworthy people joining the initiative. If you prefer to use your laptop or desktop (or don’t have an Android phone or tablet), go to this site to register and engage with the livestreams this way.
For Facebook Live, make sure you follow the specific page of the frontline witness you will be supporting.
Select role
Depending on your expertise or preference, you can choose the type of action / task you will take during the livestream. You can translate, give context, give legal advice and everyone can be present (and observe) and share the stream’s link (mobilize!) so even more people join and observe.
The role you select will determine the app functions that you will have access to.
However, the needs on the ground might change, so there might be specific tasks that might be more of a priority at certain points. You might have an assigned role that is more suited to your capacity, but you can also participate (and are encouraged to do so!) in the actions that are needed at hand.
Receive alerts
Once you are signed up, you will receive a notification on your phone when a livestream has started for you to join.
And once you join, there will be more notifications sent by the distant lead or the frontline witnesses themselves throughout the stream with instructions on the particular tasks they want you to do at that moment.
Carry out task
Within the livestream, you will get further instructions of what is needed. But if you had signed up for a particular role, when you receive the initial notification to join, it means that you should carry out the corresponding task associated to that role. Only pivot if notified for the need of other tasks that might get prioritized because of need.
Here are the tasks people can join to do (below you can see the descriptions of how to do the tasks directly on the comment section of a Facebook Live video):
Make visible (share): Share the livestream at the moment you are alerted to build rapid visibility around it. Use the Share button on Facebook as seen below or the share link through the video in the app.
Be present: Joining a watching audience that is being made visible to exert pressure.
Translate: Translate from Portuguese to English so that more people who don’t know how to speak Portuguese can understand what is happening. Translators should do a summary of what is being said, and not worry about translating verbatim. Follow more tips above.
Give context: Help explain the context of what is happening such as previous related streams, important background history, social media that is being shared at the moment, local perspectives and legal advice. Here are some of the options of the type of context that corresponds more directly to people’s experience or expertise.
Connect(observe, listen)
Once you do your task, or before doing it, take in what is happening during the livestream. Observe and listen. Send messages of solidarity to those filming on the ground or ask questions, if there is anything you want to know, through the context box. These will help guide some of the other contextualizing tasks that might be missing. And more importantly, this will help you understand and connect with those whose stories are often neglected and that should be amplified.
Wait for further instructions
As mentioned before, once you perform the task that is asked from you, there might be other actions that might need to be done, depending on information that might be missing or actions that need to happen to help those on the ground. The instructions will be sent through notifications by the frontline witnesses or the distant lead coordinating all distant witnesses.
Enrich the stories
Once the livestream ends, doesn’t mean the work has. Contextualizing should continue. You can help and connect this stream with others to create a wider narrative arc that might have a larger impact and get more people listen and involved in this campaign.
Continue sending messages of solidarity so frontline witnesses know they are not alone in the struggle! Provide feedback to the distant leads and promote the stories and widen the solidarity network so the next stream and the participation in it is even more effective than the previous one.
Action-tagsfor tasks on Facebook
^EXPERIENCE: Joining opportunities to better understand local context and human rights struggles.
^TOGETHER: Joining opportunities for solidarity or celebration with frontline communities. This is part of the arc of moments of building attention or celebrating victory.
^MAKEVISIBLE: Sharing a livestream rapidly to build attention around it. This is the option to use to ask and encourage people to directly share the livestream to build rapid visibility. On Periscope and Facebook this would be done via a ‘Share’ and this is the easiest way to explain this option.
^BEPRESENT: Joining a watching audience that is being made visible (for example, via an onsite visual counter) to exert pressure. This is designed to be the option to use for example with the tool or a public projection and a physical representation of viewers on site.
^CONTEXT: Joining a livestream as an individual to help explain to other viewers the context of what is happening. This is designed to route to people who can provide important context on situation/history and what is happening within the comments of a livestream. In the context of the pilot we will also test this function via direct scheduling of possible contextualizers.
^TRANSLATE: Joining a livestream as an individual to translate from Portuguese to English. This is designed to route to people who can do translation (summary) within the comments of a livestream. In the context of the pilot we will also test this function via direct scheduling of possible translators.
^LEGALADVICE: Joining a livestream as an individual to provide legal guidance . This is designed to route to people who can provide legal advice into a private one-to-one conversation with a streamer or delegated person.

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