Account & Policies

Do I have to register to use the Hub?

We encourage all potential users of the Hub to register for two main reasons: to help build trust and accountability in the community, and to let you access the advanced functionality on the Hub.

Communities are built on trust, and one of the best ways of building trust is to be prepared to be accountable for what you say and do in the community. Many petition sites, for example, require that you register and confirm your identity, so that your signature genuinely counts. We want the Hub Community’s voice to count, and part of that means confirming your identity in some way.

If you have genuine security concerns about registering to use the site, whether because of your location, position or the nature of what you want to contribute to the Hub, please email the Hub Team here.

Without registering you can browse the content and community on the Hub, including:

  • Upload, share and use media
  • Browse campaigns, discussions and actions
  • See basic information about registered users

Registering with a valid email address gives you access to a deeper range of functionality on the Hub, including the above, and:

  • Comment on media
  • Take part in campaigns, discussions and actions
  • See full user profiles and contacts

What about security and privacy?

Much of the content on the Hub is of a sensitive nature, and many of the users have concerns about their own security while uploading and using content, as well as the security of people featured in the content.

It’s very difficult to eliminate risks to users completely, but, as a human rights organization itself, WITNESS is in constant contact with experts and peer organizations on the best ways to mitigate risks to users uploading to the website, using the website, and featured on the website.

Uploading media anonymously: We do accept anonymous uploads via the internet, but even anonymous upload has its risks. We will endeavor to flag these up to you and point you to useful resources wherever possible. We will shortly be able to accept uploads directly from mobile phones, and we will update you on security risks to users uploading via cellphone at that time.

Browsing the Hub without logging in: As you see above, you can browse the site as a guest, but this means that you can’t use some of the more interactive community functionality. You are still revealing a surprising amount of information about yourself to us, even if you don’t login to the site – to find out more about this, see this post written at Global Voices Online by Hub Manager Sameer Padania.

What are your terms of use?

Whether you register or not, your use of the Hub is bound by our terms of use. Click here to download the full terms of use document.

If you break the Terms of Use, we reserve the right to ban you from using the Hub – but we will always provide written warnings where possible, whether to you directly, or to the IP address you are using.

What will you do with my data?

There are three reasons why providing us with some basic information about you will make your experience and everyone’s experience on the Hub better.

First, when you register, you provide us with your valid email address, which enables you to receive the emailed link to activate your profile. Giving us your email address also means that we can contact you directly if we need to, for example, if someone comments on or flags your content, or asks for further verification. It also means that If you send us an email, we will be able to verify that it is from you, and not from someone pretending to be you.

Second, when you register or when you update your profile you can tell us what you do, which city and country you are from, and ways you might want to contribute to the community. We will use these bits of information to help users of the Hub connect better with content, information and people that they can trust, or that they find relevant.

Last, giving us your valid email address means that you can participate in, track, and share what you do at the Hub through your profile page. When you share your identity, your media and your actions with people outside the Hub, you become a mini-Hub yourself!

We will not sell to or share with any third party, without your consent, any individual data we collect from you, whether collected during the registration process or through your use of the site. We will aggregate and anonymise data to illustrate usage of the Hub to funders, partners and media.

As we add new functionality, and more Allies and people get involved at the Hub, we may need to update aspects of how we handle data – this will be communicated via the Hub blog (coming soon).

Do you have a copyright policy?

We believe that media that raises awareness and reduces impunity around human rights violations should be as widely available, shared and distributed as possible, and we want to support this as much as possible, within the confines of the law.

You retain the rights to the content you have created and chosen to upload to the Hub. By uploading content to the Hub, you are confirming that you own the rights to this content, or that it is in the public domain. When you upload your content, you can choose a license that tells others people what they can do with your content. We have adopted a system of licensing called Creative Commons, and when you upload your content, you will be asked to assign one of these licenses to it. Find out more what Creative Commons licenses are [here], and meet the licenses [here].

When it comes to other people’s content, we take copyright law extremely seriously. We support the principle of Fair Use in appropriate circumstances, and our friends at the Center for Social Media have created a toolkit to help you understand and navigate Fair Use. We believe that the only way to build a responsible community is by respecting the rights of people and media creators everywhere. All uploaded content will be screened for copyright infringement, and anything that is deemed to infringe copyright in an unacceptable fashion will not be shown on the site. Users are also able to flag media on the Hub for copyright infringement, and when cases come to our attention, we will investigate, and remove media from the site that is deemed to infringe copyright in an unacceptable fashion. Persistent copyright violators will have their accounts suspended. Click here to see our content review process.