Witness Video Hub

The Witness Video Hub is helping people document human rights abuses when YouTube and governments don't cooperate. Plus Big Thinker Sushmita Ghosh.

When Peter Gabriel co-founded Witness in 1992, the idea was to supply video cameras to people in the developing world to document human rights abuses. But the market beat them to it: Africa's cell-phone industry is the fastest growing in the world, and nearly everyone with a phone has or will soon have a camera. So Witness has changed gears, and is now focusing on capturing, amplifying, and disseminating user-generated videos.If someone captures footage of torture in, say, Burma, and posts it to YouTube, two things may happen. YouTube may take the video down for violating its policy against violent footage, and Burma may shut down the country's internet, as is did earlier this year when citizen journalists uploaded videos of police beating saffron-robed monks. Unlike Burma, most states with an interest in repressing speech (think China) cannot afford to shut down an entire nation's internet capabilities; instead, they censor individual websites. That's where Witness comes in: It can ensure that videos uploaded to their site are held there permanently, in servers sitting in an undisclosed country.BIG THINKER:

Sushmita Ghosh

The open-source concept created a whole new way of doing business, reinventing the pathway to huge scale and impact. For example, eBay has the users doing the work, in a self-regulating community. The trick is to simply think through the incentives for the community to grow itself in a transparent way, for collective conscience to rise against someone who breaches the code of ethics. I believe that applying these open source principles to the building of a global network of communities could redefine how social innovations get big. This approach could unite and amplify those innovations and greatly accelerate their impact-just as it did for business. Innovators who are driven by the desire to fix social problems have a built-in incentive to make the engineering of their solutions totally transparent, because that's the only way they're going to spread their change.Sushmita Ghosh served a five-year term as president of Ashoka (one of GOOD's nonprofit partners) and is now as a member of Ashoka's Leadership Team.


Articles
WITI Milwaukee

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."

"I gave him his pizza and then I noticed behind him was his girlfriend," Grundl told WITI Milwaukee. "She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible. She mouthed the words, 'Call the police.'"

Keep Reading Show less
Good News


Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Facebook: kktv11news

A post on the Murdered by Words subreddit is going viral for the perfect way a poster shut down a knee-jerk "double-standard!" claim.

It began when a Redditor posted a 2015 Buzzfeed article story about a single dad who took cosmetology lessons to learn how to do his daughter's hair.

Most people would see the story as something positive. A dad goes out of his way to learn a skill that makes his daughter look fabulous.

Keep Reading Show less
Lifestyle
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Coal mining is on the decline, leaving many coal miners in West Virginia without jobs. The Mine Safety and Health Administration says there are about 55,000 positions, and just 13,000 of those jobs are in West Virginia. The dwindling amount of work is leaving some struggling to make a living, but the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective is giving those coal miners a way to find new jobs and make a supplemental income as coal mining diminishes.

The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective trains coal miners and other low-income residents in mining communities to keep bees. Some coal miners are getting retrained to work in the tech industry, however beekeeping allows coal miners to continue to work in a job that requires a similar skill set. "The older folks want to get back to work, but mining is never going to be like it was in the '60s and '70s, and there is nothing to fall back on, no other big industries here, so all of these folks need retraining," former coal miner James Scyphers told NPR. "Beekeeping is hands-on work, like mining, and requires on-the-job training. You need a good work ethic for both."

Keep Reading Show less
Business
Photo by Stella de Smit on Unsplash

There was once a time in Florida where you could park your boat in your front lawn, but you were SOL if you wanted to grow squash and lettuce there. However, thanks to one Miami Shores couple, that's about to change.

Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll had been growing a front yard garden for 17 years, but in 2013, Miami Shores changed its city ordinance, making the activity illegal. The new city ordinance said that backyard vegetable gardens were a-OK, but Ricketts and Carroll couldn't keep a garden in their backyard because it didn't get enough sun. So the couple could either dig up their garden or face $50 in daily fines for letting it continue to grow. The couple opted to do neither and instead, they sued the city.

Ricketts and Carroll took their case to the Florida Supreme Court. Initially, the courts sided with Miami Shores, but the fight wasn't over. Florida State Senator Rob Bradley introduced legislation preventing "a county or municipality from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties." Earlier this year, the Senate passed the bill 35-5.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet