Documenting Human Rights Violations in Challenging Environments

Similar to social media sites, blogs allow users to post text, video, audio, still images, and other types of digital content. Blog content is usually ordered chronologically. Users can create blogs on a number of different content management systems such as: WordPress, blogger, blog.com, TyPad Micro, Tumblr, among others.

Like social media sites, blogs can provide valuable information about events on the ground, but they can also be means to misinform. Here are some pros and cons of using blogs to collect information.

Technorati

Technorati allows you to track conversations happening in blogs. It also shows you the top blogs, content, and tags. Go to Technorati and search for blogs on Iran.

On the top of the website you can search blogs and posts. What did you get when you searched for Iran? In our last search on February 2013 we found 1682 blogs related to Iran. How many did you find in your search?

Pros

  • You can find a myriad of topics, discussions, and viewpoints of political and other relevance.
  • If you read many, blogs can help you analyze people's discourse on politics, social issues, economics, etc.
  • They can help you connect with like-minded people.
  • Blogs are a free way to have your voice heard.

Cons

  • Authorities can block them.
  • There are some bloggers that might be more credible than others.
  • States can harass and arrest bloggers they do not like.
  • Bloggers may still be wary of including certain information for fear of persecution.