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Lawfare Podcast – Arbiters of Truth: Bringing Evidence of War Crimes From Twitter to the Hague


Arbiters of Truth is a weekly podcast on disinformation and misinformation. Hosts Evelyn Douek, Quinta Jurecic, and Alina Polyakova interview experts about the legal and policy aspects of the debates around political discourse, online speech and social media platforms playing out in the headlines. You can find it in the Lawfare podcast feed on Thursdays.

April 14,2022

The internet is increasingly emerging as a source for identification and documentation of war crimes, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has devastatingly proven yet again. But how does an image of a possible war crime go from social media to before a tribunal in a potential war crimes prosecution? 

On a recent episode of Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Nick Waters, the lead on Justice and Accountability at Bellingcat, about how open-source investigators go about documenting evidence of atrocity. This week on the show, Evelyn and Quinta interviewed Alexa Koenig, the executive director of the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and an expert on using digital evidence for justice and accountability. They talked about how international tribunals have adapted to using new forms of evidence derived from the internet, how social media platforms have helped—and hindered—collection of this kind of evidence, and the work Alexa has done to create a playbook for investigators downloading and collecting material documenting atrocities.

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