New WITNESS Media Lab project will track videos of violence against transgender people

The wave of legal victories that the LGBTQ community has achieved in the United States has coincided with a backlash. Along with hate-based laws, advocacy groups are reporting an epidemic of violence targeting transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

A disturbing number of these violent incidents are filmed by bystanders who capture and then share the footage as a source of entertainment. Use the right search terms on the most popular video hosting sites and you’ll find thousands of them.

The WITNESS Media Lab and WML Curation Fellow Karen Stevenson have just announced a new project which will source and analyze “data from eyewitness videos of violent acts against transgender and gender-nonconforming people that have been captured, posted, engaged with, and shared for entertainment.” From the announcement blog, Karen continues:

We believe that the findings can raise greater awareness and spark discussion of the cultural and political climate that is fostering discrimination, dehumanizing victims, and encouraging violence. In partnership with advocacy groups, activists, and academics, we will review and distribute the data along with resources and tools that will help them more effectively use eyewitness videos for their work.

Our aim is to share this information to inform and create guidance for advocacy groups, journalists, law enforcement, tech companies and more to help prevent re-victimization and end this discrimination.

Read the full announcement here and stay tuned for more analysis coming during Pride Month and into July.


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