The Mass Atrocities in the Digital Era (MADE) initiative is a first-of-its-kind program formed within Yale University’s Genocide Studies Program. Its mission is to study the role that emerging technology plays in mass atrocities with a focus on accountability, corporate responsibility, and genocide studies scholarship.
MADE aims to cultivate a new generation of expert practitioners and scholars while developing legal, normative, and business frameworks necessary to protect human rights in the digital age.
The creation of MADE is a response to the need for the field of genocide studies to undergo systematic update in order to address the impact of digital technologies, ranging from ICTs and social media to digitized identities. MADE examines how these changes influence the commission of mass atrocities, as well as the possibilities for both preventing atrocities and more effectively prosecuting those responsible for them.
MADE will incorporate that expertise with experts from across campus, including the Jackson Institute (soon-to-be School) of Global Affairs, Yale School of Management, Yale Law School, the School of Public Health, and elsewhere in the college itself. In its nascency, the initiative has already engaged in several activities that reflect its objectives, beginning with:
  • A March 2020 panel discussion and workshop that brought together scholars and legal practitioners from around the globe to address the connection between social media and the alleged incitement of genocide in contemporary cases;
  • A consultative process among stakeholders from human rights organizations, Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) activists, social media companies, international law experts, and lawmakers addressing the challenges of using social media evidence in legal proceedings pertaining to alleged mass atrocities;
  • A White Paper presenting a basic framework for addressing those challenges in the form of a Social Media Data Request Mechanism and Focal Point.