Syrian Archive
Syrian Archive


How to prolong the lifespan of your online content

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As protests escalate again in Syria, activists face challenges in documenting ongoing events, publishing relevant and related information on social media, and preserving this sensitive information in the face of continuous reporting and deletion campaigns. Here are some tips to prolong the lifespan of online content and protect it from potential deletion:

  1. Safety first. Prioritising physical and digital security is paramount. Acquiring digital security skills and putting them into practice is vital for activists, especially in conflict areas. For example, avoid revealing identifiable information such as names, and linking accounts to identifiable email addresses or phone numbers. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service when connecting to the internet. Utilise strong and varied passwords, following basic encryption protocols in communications to avoid breaches. Employ data hiding tools on devices and secure devices to mitigate risks during emergencies.
  2. Upload content on multiple platforms. While Facebook remains the most commonly used platform by activists in Syria, its popularity ensures that materials reach the largest possible number of users compared to other platforms. However, as part of what seems to be a misinformation campaign, many activists’ content  is falsely flagged by third parties for allegedly violating platform guidelines or copyright infringement. This leads to an increased number of posts being deleted and subsequently lost. It is therefore advisable not to rely on a single platform and to publish content on several platforms if possible, as they are governed by different content policies. Sharing content on different platforms contributes to the wider dissemination of content and increases its likelihood of remaining on at least one platform.
  3. Avoid relying on social media platforms for storage backup. Social media platforms were not intended as cloud storage services and are unstable at best. While using social media to share what is happening on the ground has been and continues to be crucial to convey different perspectives from seemingly biased media outlets, treating them as hard drives has led to the apparent loss of hundreds of thousands of pieces of content, as original copies often no longer exist. Therefore, you should not rely solely on the published version of materials on social media and should ensure to securely keep several backup copies to avoid loss in case they are deleted from platforms.
  4. Understanding the rules of social media platforms. Each platform has community guidelines they uphold. Certain practices and keywords are considered by these platforms as violations of their policies.These may include threats, hate speech, racism, and violent content. Understanding and following these practices reduces the likelihood of automatic deletion of content. You can read the policies of different platforms here: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X (previously Twitter).
  5. Use multiple social media accounts. Using a single account to manage multiple Facebook pages increases the risk of losing access to those pages if the account is taken down. Therefore, it is advisable to use multiple virtual accounts if possible for uploading and sharing content.
  6. Help us preserve your content. Syrian Archive aims to preserve documented content of human rights violations for later use in accountability and accountability processes. Our researchers monitor what is posted on social media daily to archive it before deletion. However, automatic content management and misinformation campaigns that falsely flag content for takedown mean we are in a race against time to preserve content before it is deleted. You can contact us at info@syrianarchive.org and share links to channels or content you fear may be deleted from social media, and we will securely archive it.
  7. Help us reinstate your content. Contact us if you experience content deletion that you believe does not violate social media platforms’ policies. Syrian Archive and its umbrella organisation Mnemonic engage with social media companies to retrieve important content.

Syrian Archive

The Syrian Archive is fully independent and accepts no money from governments directly involved in the Syrian conflict. We are seeking individual donations to carry out our work. Please consider supporting our work through our Patreon page.

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