Amnesty International is launching a Facebook application that will illustrate to users of the social media site how their posts could see them tortured, imprisoned or even killed in other countries.
The application, called Trial By Timeline, scans a person's Facebook page and determines what crimes they might have committed in other countries simply through listing their occupation, gender, relationship status or liking posts that an oppressive regime may deem offensive. The application then lists what the punishment for that 'crime' is likely to be in particular countries.
Amnesty IT manager Vivian Chandra says the application is part of a new branding for the organisation, which has the tagline 'Protect the Human'. The idea is to show New Zealand Facebook users what it's like to live in countries where even joining the social media site is a crime. The app also pretends to interrogate a person's Facebook friends, in order to provide "a very real level of creepiness", says Chandra.
When the app has finished scanning the Facebook page it summarises the crimes and punishments that have been 'committed' by the user, who can then tweet the summary. The app can be easily removed through the account setting menu on the Facebook home page.
Trial by Timeline is being developed by advertising agency Colenso BBDO, and has been six months in development says digital creative director Dan Wright.
"Somebody in the building had the wonderful idea of taking all of the things that we do on Facebook and showing how incriminating they would be in other places," says Wright.
While the idea is great, developing the application has proven to be "really hard".
"The challenges come in the sheer volume to information. For example the research that we've done on what's punishable through what means and what countries, either by the government or by civilians gets really long, really fast," Wright says.
"You're talking about 60-70 countries, up to 100 or so different crimes with slightly different punishments. Then to process all of that, scanning Facebook for things that people have said in their status, comments on other people's pages, as well as pages they've liked, which is often in the hundreds."
Read more: http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/7869286/Sentenced-on-Facebook
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