Amnesty International New Zealand’s office has unveiled today a new Facebook application that illustrates the disparity in human rights protection around the world through a highly personal experience based on your social activities in Facebook.
Trial by Timeline examines your Facebook profile, timeline and friends and creates summary of the crimes you may be guilty of in countries around the world where human rights are not fully protected in law and practice.
Evidence that can be used against you includes:
- association with groups or individuals who are critical of the government (for example, Amnesty International)
- religious beliefs (if you declare this publicly in your profile)
- evidence of sexual misconduct (homosexuality is illegal in far too many countries)
- evidence of alcohol/marijuana consumption
- even having a Facebook account itself is illegal (in Myanmar) so everyone using the app will be guilty of that
Punishments are also meted out for the crime ‘convictions’ and include: death, torture, life imprisonment, beatings, and other human rights abuses.
It’s an inventive and informative campaign, similar to the “Human Rights if Facebook were the World” application created by Amnesty’s Venezuela office earlier this year. Both seek to bring the reality of human rights abuses into your personal/social world, illustrating how you and your friends could be affected if you didn’t have the same rights protections that most first-world citizens have.
The application is designed to be emotionally engaging, and during the evidence gathering phase it lists a number of your Facebook friends being “interrogated”. I found that to be most disturbing moment, bringing home the idea that harmless social connections could be so risky, and used for terrible abuses.
Overall this is a high quality campaign, with impactful visual and audio design and solid functionality. The viral element is also well considered — here is the Facebook message I was asked to share:
Thinking about your next vacation? Maybe worth checking this site out first ..