Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Syria Tracker: Crowdsourcing Crisis
Information
Taha Kass-Hout MD MS 1, Hend Alhinnawi MA 1, Leila Samy, MPH 1, Jeanne B. ...
The web-based Crowdmap allows users to crowdsource information from multiple channels,
such as email, Twitter, YouTube vid...
Figure 1: Syria Tracker
Figure 2: Submission via the Web
Syria Tracker provides a “voting” capability for eyewitness reports so that any ones with...
August 7, 2011, 74 individuals killed on October 28, 2011, 122 individuals killed on December
19, 2011, and 146 individual...
Figure 3: Total Number Killed in Syria Per Day, Mar 18, 2011 - Jan 8, 2012, Source: Syria
Tracker
Table 1: Top 20 Cities with Most Documented Killings, Source: Syria Tracker
City
English Arabic
Count
Hamah ‫ﺣﻣﺎة‬ 421
Him...
Figure 4: Syria Tracker: Age Distribution for Individuals Killed in Syria, Mar 18, 2011 thru Jan 8,
2012, Source: Syria Tr...
Table 2: Validation Sources Used to Validate Reports in Syria Tracker
Validation Source (English Translation) Validation S...
As of December 12, 2011, Syria Tracker had received visits from 1,071 cities (with the top three
being: Damascus Syria, Wa...
Figure 5: Top 100 sources of HealthMap alerts by media type. Aggregators do not provide
original content but simply aggreg...
Table 3: HealthMap Crisis Google News Query List
HealthMap Crisis Google News Query List
intitle:syria "dier al zour" OR "...
Table 4: Significant events covered by media during the course of the unrest in Syria from June
13 thru December 12, 2011 ...
● Syria asks for a summit
● Russia to continue supporting Syria with arms
● Some opposition criticizes the suspension as i...
but also long-term thinking about a post-Assad Administration transitional justice and shorter-
term thinking about accoun...
References
1. Brownstein JS, Freifeld CC, Madoff LC. Digital disease detection–harnessing the
Web for public health survei...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Syria Tracker: Crowdsourcing Crisis Information

1,618 views

Published on

Syrian activists, Arab and international human rights organizations and journalists have been collecting information to document crimes committed by the Syrian security forces against Syrian citizens. YouTube videos, reports by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), demanded of the United Nations (UN), interview transcripts, and news reports: all such sources of information exist independently, left unorganized and thus unable to make an optimal impact on advocacy for an international response to the crisis in Syria. This website, Syria Tracker, was developed to leverage information that is produced by citizen reporters and in collaboration with a variety of entities and made publicly available in disparate locations to produce a free centralized source of information. Hereinafter, we refer to this method of harnessing labor and information contributed by a large group of people as opposed to an employee or an expert contractor as crowdsourcing.

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Syria Tracker: Crowdsourcing Crisis Information

  1. 1. Syria Tracker: Crowdsourcing Crisis Information Taha Kass-Hout MD MS 1, Hend Alhinnawi MA 1, Leila Samy, MPH 1, Jeanne B. Kamali 2, Patrick Meier PhD 2,3, David Scales MD, PhD 4,5,6, Clark C. Freifeld, MS 4,5,6, John S. Brownstein, PhD 4,5,6,7, and David Kaye, JD 8 1 Syria Tracker, United States of America 2 International Network of Crisis Mappers 3 Ushahidi, Nairobi, Kenya 4 Children's Hospital Informatics Program at Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America 5 Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America 6 HealthMap, United States of America 7 Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America 8 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, United States of America January 5, 2012 Background: Syrian activists, Arab and international human rights organizations and journalists have been collecting information to document crimes committed by the Syrian security forces against Syrian citizens. YouTube videos, reports by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), demanded of the United Nations (UN), interview transcripts, and news reports: all such sources of information exist independently, left unorganized and thus unable to make an optimal impact on advocacy for an international response to the crisis in Syria. This website, Syria Tracker, was developed to leverage information that is produced by citizen reporters and in collaboration with a variety of entities and made publicly available in disparate locations to produce a free centralized source of information. Hereinafter, we refer to this method of harnessing labor and information contributed by a large group of people as opposed to an employee or an expert contractor as crowdsourcing. Ushahidi: The near-ubiquity of cell phones worldwide and enhanced access to the Internet over the past few years indicates that the world can hear about and respond to reports of events taking place, even inside repressive regimes. This activity and reactivity may occur in near real- time. Individuals around the world can access volumes of data made easily digestible to a diverse audience through live maps and other visualization techniques. Ushahidi, a small, non- profit technology company based in Kenya provides free and open source software as a platform through which one can leverage crowdsourced reports to generate live maps. At the bleeding edge of new practices deploying live maps in conflict and crisis situations, Ushahidi first launched its platform in 2008, which was used (in combination with Short Message Service (SMS)) to document rising human rights violations and post-election violence in Kenya. In 2010, Ushahidi released Crowdmap, a public implementation of the Ushahidi platform hosted in the Internet cloud. Anyone can construct a basic Crowdmap within minutes, centered upon the location and extent of one’s choice, and generated with relevant, user-defined categories that best fit the context. Subsequently, interested users around the world have generated thousands of individual Crowdmaps tracking events or relief needed; such as tracking: oil spills, election intimidation, corruption, tornados, power outages, civil wars, and food and water requests after an earthquake.
  2. 2. The web-based Crowdmap allows users to crowdsource information from multiple channels, such as email, Twitter, YouTube videos, online news, syndicated feeds (such as Really Simple Syndication (or RSS)), webform, or mobile apps, among others. The Standby Task Force (SBTF) (http://blog.standbytaskforce.com), an online volunteer community established at the second annual International Conference on Crisis Mapping (ICCM) (http://www.CrisisMappers.net) in October, 2010, was activated in April 2011 for 2 weeks to help Syria Tracker cope with the initial surge of crisis events from Syria. Methodology: Using Ushahidi’s Crowdmap product, we developed Syria Tracker [See Figure 1: http://syriatracker.crowdmap.com] to be a crowdsourced effort where citizen reporters on the ground or abroad are reporting crimes in Syria either via direct web entry [See Figure 2], by sending reports via email to syriatracker@gmail.com, by tagging their tweets with #basharcrimes, or by leaving a voice message to US-based number “+1 931 682 6708”. Additionally, at the beginning of the effort Syria Tracker adopted a Speak2Tweet service (http://twitter.com/speak2tweet) that was developed by Google in light of the January 25 events in Egypt. The service accepted voice messages from Syria to either “+16 50 4194 196” or “+39 06 62207 294” or “+44 20 3318 4514” and automatically posted the recorded messages to twitter with hashtag #Syria. Syria Tracker also incorporates complementary situation awareness information (news, blogs, Facebook posts, etc.) from the HealthMap system [1-3], hereinafter referred to as “HealthMap Crisis”. HealthMap is an information system that tracks disease outbreaks using unofficial reports (e.g., informal interviews of clinicians, web-based health-related articles by news media, amateur blogs). HealthMap Crisis was tailored to mine information in English for evidence of crises (e.g., killing, torture, detainment). HealthMap Crisis is provided as a news stream that is available to the public on the Syria Tracker’s website. Syria Tracker is collaborating with the following crowdsourced efforts to further validate and disseminate the information: Middle East Voices (Voice of America http://middleeastvoices.com/map-of-deaths-in-syrian-uprising-beta), Syrian Martyrs ‫اﻟﺳورﯾﺔ‬ ‫اﻟﺛورة‬ ‫ﺷﮭداء‬ (http://syrianshuhada.com), Silmya (http://silmya.org), and Syrian Youth Movement (http://mar15.info).
  3. 3. Figure 1: Syria Tracker
  4. 4. Figure 2: Submission via the Web Syria Tracker provides a “voting” capability for eyewitness reports so that any ones with low confidence levels can be identified by the community. Names of victims have been collected as frequently as possible to reduce the chance of duplicate reports and to support the UN Human Rights Council recommendations for documenting the crimes for future investigation. Results: Syria Tracker was launched on April 23, 2011 and, as of January 9, 2012, has been able to log aggregate or individual reports since March 18, 2011, including 550 reports for the category “Killed (‫ل‬ِ‫ﺗ‬ُ‫ﻗ‬)” and 356 reports for the category “Missing-‫ﻣﻔﻘود‬ or Detained-‫ﻌﺗﻘل‬ُ‫ﻣ‬”. A total of 6,317 individuals killed [See Figure 3] over 286 days (March 18, 2011 thru January 8, 2012) were documented and verified. Killing ranged from 1-210 killings per day (median of 17.5 (95% CI:14-19)), in 463 cities [See Table 1], affecting all age groups (median age of 36 years old (95% CI: 27-45)) with 427 individuals (~7%) less than or equal to 18 years old [See Figure 4], and 289 individuals were female (~5%) and 6,028 were male (~95%). Depending on the levels of violence in Syria, the typical amount of time for an eyewitness report is 1-3 days, and aggregate reports are developed once a week. More than 88% of the current 6,317 entries in the Syria Tracker database through Jan 9, 2012 have names associated with them, although in some of the more violent periods counts were located to sub-portions of the city and dates to reduce the chance of duplicate reports. Change Point Analysis (or CPA) [4] identified the following significant changes in the time series [See Figure 3]: 74 individuals killed on 4/8/2011, 57 individuals killed on April 22, 2011, 162 individuals killed on April 29, 2011, 65 individuals killed on May 1, 2011, 33 individuals killed on June 2, 2011,86 individuals killed on June 3, 2011, 56 individuals killed on 6/5/2011, 210 individuals killed on 6/10/2011, 140 individuals killed on July 31, 2011, 144 individuals killed on
  5. 5. August 7, 2011, 74 individuals killed on October 28, 2011, 122 individuals killed on December 19, 2011, and 146 individuals killed on December 20, 2011. As of January 8, 2012, a total of 407 killings have been documented since the Arab League observers began arriving in Syria on December 26, 2011 to check on implementation of an Arab peace plan.
  6. 6. Figure 3: Total Number Killed in Syria Per Day, Mar 18, 2011 - Jan 8, 2012, Source: Syria Tracker
  7. 7. Table 1: Top 20 Cities with Most Documented Killings, Source: Syria Tracker City English Arabic Count Hamah ‫ﺣﻣﺎة‬ 421 Hims ‫ﺣﻣص‬ 274 Baba Amr, Hims ‫ﻋﻣر‬ ‫ﺑﺎﺑﺎ‬‫و‬‫ﺣﻣص‬ ، 271 Daraa ‫درﻋﺎ‬ 258 Ar Rastan, Hims ‫اﻟرﺳﺗ‬‫ن‬‫ﺣﻣص‬ ، 250 Jisr Ash-Shughur, Idlib ‫اﻟﺷﻐور‬ ‫ﺟﺳر‬‫إدﻟب‬ ، 232 Dayr az-Zawr ‫اﻟزور‬ ‫دﯾر‬ 197 Al Khaldeeye, Hims ‫اﻟﺧﺎﻟدﯾ‬‫ﺔ‬‫ﺣﻣص‬ ، 166 Al Hawleh, Hims ‫اﻟﺣوﻟﺔ‬ 138 Al Bayada, Hims ‫اﻟﺑﯾﺎﺿ‬‫ﺔ‬‫ﺣﻣص‬ ، 137 Al Qusayr, Hims ‫اﻟﻘﺻﯾ‬‫ر‬‫ﺣﻣص‬ ، 132 Duma, Damascus Suburbs ‫دوﻣﺎ‬‫دﻣﺷق‬ ‫رﯾف‬ ، 117 Dayr Baalaba, Hims ‫ﺑﻌ‬ ‫دﯾر‬‫ﻠﺑﺔ‬‫ﺣﻣص‬ ، 104 Kafr Owayd, Idlib ‫ﻛﻔرﻋوﯾد‬‫إدﻟب‬ ، 103 Karam el-Zeitoun, Hims ‫اﻟزﯾﺗو‬ ‫ﻛرم‬‫ن‬‫ﺣﻣص‬ ، 102 Bab Alsebaa, Hims ‫ﺳﺑﺎع‬ ‫ﺑﺎب‬‫ﺣﻣص‬ ، 99 Talbisah, Hims ‫ﺗﻠﺑﯾ‬‫ﺳ‬‫ﺔ‬‫ﺣﻣص‬ ، 90 Kansafra, Idlib ‫ﻛﻧﺻﻔرة‬‫إدﻟب‬ ، 88 Latakia ‫اﻟﻼذﻗﯾﺔ‬ 84 Talkalakh, Hims ‫ﺗﻠﻛ‬‫ﻠﺦ‬‫ﺣﻣص‬ ، 84
  8. 8. Figure 4: Syria Tracker: Age Distribution for Individuals Killed in Syria, Mar 18, 2011 thru Jan 8, 2012, Source: Syria Tracker Reports in Syria Tracker were translated, georeferenced, coded and verified against other sources or online posts [See Table 2].
  9. 9. Table 2: Validation Sources Used to Validate Reports in Syria Tracker Validation Source (English Translation) Validation Source (Arabic) Validated Reports Martyrs on Facebook ‫ﻓﯾﺳﺑوك‬ ‫ﻋﻠﻰ‬ ‫ﺷﮭداء‬ 2447 Martyrs from the beginning of the revolution ‫اﻟﺛورة‬ ‫ﺑداﯾﺔ‬ ‫ﻣﻧذ‬ ‫ﺷﮭداء‬ 931 Facebook ‫ﻓﯾﺳﺑوك‬ 869 Commission ‫اﻟﻠﺟﻧﺔ‬ 559 The commission and On Islam ‫و‬ ‫اﻟﻠﺟﻧﺔ‬‫اﻹﺳﻼم‬ ‫ﻋن‬ 541 On Islam ‫اﻹﺳﻼم‬ ‫ﻋن‬ 231 The Syrian Revolution ‫اﻟ‬ ‫اﻟﺛورة‬‫ﺳورﯾﺔ‬ 230 The Nation ‫اﻟوطن‬ 167 Local coordination committees ‫اﻟﻣﺣﻠﯾﺔ‬ ‫اﻟﺗﻧﺳﯾق‬ ‫ﻟﺟﺎن‬ 78 Email ) ‫اﻹﻟﻛﺗروﻧﻲ‬ ‫اﻟﺑرﯾد‬‫إﯾﻣﯾل‬( 66 Aljazeera ‫اﻟﺟزﯾرة‬ 65 Friends of Humanity International ‫اﻟدوﻟﯾﺔ‬ ‫اﻹﻧﺳﺎن‬ ‫أﺻدﻗﺎء‬ 50 The committee and Facebook ‫وﻓﯾﺳﺑوك‬ ‫اﻟﻠﺟﻧﺔ‬ 13 Orient ‫ا‬‫ﻟﺷرق‬(‫)أورﯾﻧت‬ 11 YouTube ‫اﻟﯾوﺗوب‬ 12 Martyrs on Facebook and Email ‫ﻓﯾﺳﺑوك‬ ‫ﻋﻠﻰ‬ ‫ﺷﮭداء‬‫و‬‫اﻹﻟﻛﺗروﻧﻲ‬ ‫اﻟﺑرﯾد‬ 9 Syrian Rights ‫اﻟﺳورﯾﺔ‬ ‫اﻟﺣﻘوق‬ 8 Baba Amr martyrs on Facebook ‫ﻓﯾﺳﺑوك‬ ‫ﻋﻣرﻋﻠﻰ‬ ‫ﺑﺎﺑﺎ‬ ‫ﺷﮭداء‬ 6 The committee and Rights ‫واﻟﺣﻘو‬ ‫اﻟﻠﺟﻧﺔ‬‫ق‬ 4 Freedom martyrs on Facebook ‫ﺑوك‬ ‫ﻓﯾس‬ ‫اﻟﺣرﯾﺔ‬ ‫ﺷﮭداء‬ 4 The commission and On Islam and email ‫و‬ ‫اﻟﻠﺟﻧﺔ‬‫اﻹﺳﻼم‬ ‫ﻋن‬‫و‬‫اﻹﻟﻛﺗروﻧﻲ‬ ‫اﻟﺑرﯾد‬ 3 Facebook and Email ‫و‬ ‫ﻓﯾﺳﺑوك‬‫اﻹﻟﻛﺗروﻧﻲ‬ ‫اﻟﺑرﯾد‬ 3 The committee and Email ‫و‬ ‫اﻟﻠﺟﻧﺔ‬‫اﻹﻟﻛﺗروﻧﻲ‬ ‫اﻟﺑرﯾد‬ 2 The committee and Facebook and Rights ‫واﻟﺣﻘوق‬ ‫وﻓﯾﺳﺑوك‬ ‫اﻟﻠﺟﻧﺔ‬ 2 Facebook committees ‫اﻟﻔﯾﺳﺑوك‬ ‫ﻟﺟﺎن‬ 2 The committee and Facebook and Email ‫وﻓﯾﺳﺑوك‬ ‫اﻟﻠﺟﻧﺔ‬‫و‬‫اﻹﻟﻛﺗروﻧﻲ‬ ‫اﻟﺑرﯾد‬ 1 Barada ‫ﺑردى‬ 1 Martyrs from the beginning of the revolution and Martyrs on Facebook ‫ﺷﮭداء‬ ‫و‬ ‫اﻟﺛورة‬ ‫ﺑداﯾﺔ‬ ‫ﻣﻧذ‬ ‫ﺷﮭداء‬‫ﻋﻠﻰ‬‫ﻓﯾﺳﺑوك‬ 1 Martyrs on Facebook and Email ‫ﺷﮭداء‬ ‫ﻓﯾﺳﺑوك‬‫و‬‫اﻹﻟﻛﺗروﻧﻲ‬ ‫اﻟﺑرﯾد‬ 1
  10. 10. As of December 12, 2011, Syria Tracker had received visits from 1,071 cities (with the top three being: Damascus Syria, Washington DC, and Riyadh Saudi Arabia) in 114 countries (~91% of the visits from Syria were new visits). Approximately, 30% of the traffic to Syria Tracker was indirect. For example, search engine results link to Syria Tracker for inquiries into specific events or searches for loved ones that are missing or killed; and, ~65% direct or referral traffic from other news outlets, social networking sites, or humanitarian websites (Voice of America, Amnesty International, Major News Agencies, etc). HealthMap endeavored to draw information from the widest range of media sources [See Table 3 and Figure 5] possible to reduce any potential reporting biases from news media with certain political slants. From June 13, 2011, when HealthMap began providing meaningful data for Syria Tracker, to January 8, 2012, over 43,000 news and blog articles were collected, drawing from almost 2,000 unique sources writing in English across the globe. More than half of the sources contributed four or more reports to the database [See Figure 5]. Sky News, Press TV and the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) were excluded from data collection from June 30, 2011, though other pro-regime news sources remained.
  11. 11. Figure 5: Top 100 sources of HealthMap alerts by media type. Aggregators do not provide original content but simply aggregate news from other sources. Online news sources are those that use the Internet as the primary means for news dissemination.
  12. 12. Table 3: HealthMap Crisis Google News Query List HealthMap Crisis Google News Query List intitle:syria "dier al zour" OR "dayr al zour" OR "deir al zour" OR "dier az zour" OR "dier ez zour" OR "dayr az zour" OR "dayr ez zour" OR "deir az zour" OR "deir ez zour" OR "dier al zawr" OR "dier al zaur" OR "dier al zor" OR "dier al zur" intitle:syrian "dier al zour" OR "dayr al zour" OR "deir al zour" OR "dier az zour" OR "dier ez zour" OR "dayr az zour" OR "dayr ez zour" OR "deir az zour" OR "deir ez zour" OR "dier al zawr" OR "dier al zaur" OR "dier al zor" OR "dier al zur" intitle:"al assad" "dier al zour" OR "dayr al zour" OR "deir al zour" OR "dier az zour" OR "dier ez zour" OR "dayr az zour" OR "dayr ez zour" OR "deir az zour" OR "deir ez zour" OR "dier al zawr" OR "dier al zaur" OR "dier al zor" OR "dier al zur" intitle:syria missing OR killed OR shaheed OR martyr OR arrested OR eyewitness OR report OR basharcrimes OR daraa OR dera'a OR dara'a OR dara3a OR hims OR homs OR latakia OR lattakia OR latakiyah intitle:syrian missing OR killed OR shaheed OR martyr OR arrested OR eyewitness OR report OR basharcrimes OR daraa OR dera'a OR dara'a OR dara3a OR hims OR homs OR latakia OR lattakia OR latakiyah intitle:"al assad" missing OR killed OR shaheed OR martyr OR arrested OR eyewitness OR report OR basharcrimes OR daraa OR dera'a OR dara'a OR dara3a OR hims OR homs OR latakia OR lattakia OR latakiyah intitle:syria damascus OR damas OR baniyas OR banyas OR tartus OR jableh OR jabla OR jebleh OR jabala OR jablah OR jabala OR zabadani OR harrasta OR harasta OR daraya OR darayya OR daraiya OR darayia intitle:syrian damascus OR damas OR baniyas OR banyas OR tartus OR jableh OR jabla OR jebleh OR jabala OR jablah OR jabala OR zabadani OR harrasta OR harasta OR daraya OR darayya OR daraiya OR darayia intitle:"al assad" damascus OR damas OR baniyas OR banyas OR tartus OR jableh OR jabla OR jebleh OR jabala OR jablah OR jabala OR zabadani OR harrasta OR harasta OR daraya OR darayya OR daraiya OR darayia intitle:syria zgharta OR madaya OR qaboon OR ba'alba OR hauran OR horan OR hawran OR houran OR "abu kamal" OR "bou kamal" intitle:syrian zgharta OR madaya OR qaboon OR ba'alba OR hauran OR horan OR hawran OR houran OR "abu kamal" OR "bou kamal" intitle:"al assad" zgharta OR madaya OR qaboon OR ba'alba OR hauran OR horan OR hawran OR houran OR "abu kamal" OR "bou kamal" intitle:syria douma -lebanon intitle:syrian douma -lebanon intitle:"al assad" douma -lebanon intitle:syria hama -boureima intitle:syrian hama –boureima intitle:"al assad" hama -boureima While duplicate articles were common, particularly syndicated articles from news agencies, the range of sources was large. The top 100 media contributors represent sources headquartered in 33 different countries, making up 25,301 events, or 54.5% of the total events collected during the time period. CPA identified the following significant events covered by media during the course of the unrest in Syria from June 13 thru December 12, 2011 [See Table 4 and Figure 6]
  13. 13. Table 4: Significant events covered by media during the course of the unrest in Syria from June 13 thru December 12, 2011 as identified by Change Point Analysis Date Significant Events Covered by Media 7/17/2011 3 dominating events: ● Attack in Zabadani and arrest of 500 by government ● Attack in Albukamal and the government having to losing the battle ● Meeting of opposition in Turkey to form the National Salvation Council ● The other events are less important: ○ Funerals in Damascus ○ Carnival in Damascus ○ Killings in Homs 7/31/2011 ● Major operations in Hama with killing between 40 and 120 ● Hague, UA, France, UK condemn killing 8/20/2011 ● Tanks, shelling, killing in Homs ● Assad plans to address ● Iran appoints new ambassador 8/31/2011 ● Large number killed during Ramadan ● Government sweeps through Hama after Ramadan ● 88 killed during torture ● Attorney general resign ● Sanctions against the regime build up 9/17/2011 ● More resort to violence by protestors ● Large number killed that weekend: 20-40 ● Jordanian-Palestinian Mossad spy helped Israel kill Hezbollah chief ● Opposition meets in Damascus countryside ● Refugees in Lebanon reach 4000 ● Hussein Harmoush retracts his statements ● Russia active diplomatically trying to broker talks 9/27/2011 ● Lots do discussion of the position of Christians: leadership and community ● The formation of free army units ● Attack on Rastan where unit of free army is active ● Economic talk: Syria stops imports, oil export stops, worry about economic collapse ● Killing of Zainab Housni ● Transitional counsel opens office in turkey 10/28/2011 ● 40-44 killed ● Protestors demand no-fly zone ● US firm admits aiding Assad Internet monitoring ● Assad meets Nasrallah and they disagree on funding the tribunal ● Syria adds ruble and yuan to convertible currencies ● Syrian free army active 11/13/2011 The repercussions to the suspension of Syria's membership in the Arab league: ● Attacks on embassies in Damascus: Qatari, Saudi, Turkish, French
  14. 14. ● Syria asks for a summit ● Russia to continue supporting Syria with arms ● Some opposition criticizes the suspension as internationalization of the Syria issue ● UN welcomes the suspension Figure 6: HealthMap Crisis: Syria Events per Day, June 13, 2011 - January 8, 2012. Red points represent significant events covered by the media as identified by Change Point Analysis (CPA). Conclusion Since April 23, 2011, the Syria Tracker (http://syriatracker.crowdmap.com) crowdsourcing application has been collecting citizen reports of crimes against humanity as part of the Syrian protests for reform. Supplementing these reports with multiple sources for verification, Syria Tracker consolidates these eyewitness reports with, advanced mining and aggregation of English news feeds, statistical reports and visualizations in Arabic and English. But Syria Tracker’s ultimate goal is not to provide numbers, but to preserve the name, and the location of each victim in this unfolding tragedy so that they will not have died in vain. Whenever possible, each death is also linked with photo and video evidence which, although it may be graphic and disturbing, does support the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council to create a documented record so that these crimes will not be forgotten. A single place to pull disparate reports on human rights violations together in a crowdsourced way is crucial to make sense of the broader pattern of abuse and demonstrate a widespread and systematic attack on civilians, the legal qualification of crimes against humanity. Syria Tracker documented and mapped thousands of reports. We hope these documentations serve as an evidence on where harm was inflicted upon citizens in Syria. This is important in order to change the nature of advocacy around the plight of the Syrian people – and not only advocacy,
  15. 15. but also long-term thinking about a post-Assad Administration transitional justice and shorter- term thinking about accountability for the most senior members of the regime.
  16. 16. References 1. Brownstein JS, Freifeld CC, Madoff LC. Digital disease detection–harnessing the Web for public health surveillance. N Engl J Med 2009;360:2153–7. 2. Brownstein JS, Freifeld CC, Reis BY, Mandl KD. Surveillance Sans Frontieres: Internet-based emerging infectious disease intelligence and the HealthMap project. PLoS Med 2008;5:e151. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050151. 3. Freifeld CC, Mandl KD, Reis BY, Brownstein JS. HealthMap: global infectious disease monitoring through automated classification and visualization of Internet media reports. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2008 Mar-Apr;15(2):150-7. Epub 2007 Dec 20. PubMed PMID: 18096908; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2274789. 4. Erdman, C., and Emerson, J., bcp: An R package for Performing a Bayesian Analysis of Change Point Problems. Journal of Statistical Software, 2007. 23(3): p. 1- 13.

×