Facebook: Don’t Delete Evidence of Human Rights Violations

Target: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook

Goal: Create archive to preserve potential evidence of war crimes and violations of human rights.

Social media platforms like Facebook are finally taking seriously their obligation to protect individual privacy, but they could be destroying vital evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In response to controversies over the depiction of violence involving wars in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, the company has chosen to delete photos and videos which could constitute case-closing documentation.

A 2017 Facebook post, for example, which depicted a Libyan militant leader executing three people was later used as crucial evidence in convicting the militant for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. In another instance, the livestream of the 2019 shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were also rapidly removed.

Facebook has every right and even a duty to remove material that could be considered shocking, traumatizing, or offensive to members of the public. However, the company has failed to preserve these valuable pieces of evidence for use in bringing the world’s worst criminals to justice. Sign the petition below to demand that the company work with other platforms to safely and securely preserve media which could be highly valuable to human rights defenders.


Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

Facebook’s commitment to removing content which violates its rules is understandable, but it could be leading to the destruction of evidence essential to the successful prosecution of violators of human rights. As the world’s leading social media platform, your company must work with other social media outlets and national agencies to create an archive of potentially significant media, including photographs, videos, and sound recordings, which could help convict those guilty of heinous crimes. I demand that you take the lead in establishing such an archive and work to bring together other key companies and groups in doing so.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Pxfuel

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  1. Good luck with this. Zuckerberg is a pos.

  2. Derek Martin says:

    I have warned about this over and over for years. It’s gotten more unreasonable and more frequent than ever nowadays. With the help of some groups, Twitter has largely stopped doing this at least – they are the target of lots of threats to lawsuit because it is used by journalists, lawyers, and courts to find evidence of guilt or innocence.

    No one needs to be thrown in jail because Facebook, Twitter or Google decided they didn’t like it.

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