Report

Technical Guidelines for Lifestory Videos: The Case on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Disinformation

May 5th 2020 - 15:10

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This report lays out guidelines for creating lifestory videos to assist in producing high-quality, consistent media with a coherent message. It specifies ideal script/video structure and other technical aspects, such as video shooting, filming locations, imagery, clothing, video length, language and subtitles, music, audio, and translations. The audiovisual format of lifestories can be highly informative as well as persuasive, which makes them an effective tool in preventing and countering violent extremism. Audio-visuals have already been used in a number of campaigns around the world, with varying degrees of success. This paper analyzes these previous efforts and considers which elements worked well as a way to inform lifestory design. It concludes that the authentic emotional qualities of lifestories are crucial for combatting disinformation and deep fakes and for offering counter narratives to propaganda. Directions for the technical aspects of creating these videos is offered as well, with an emphasis on how to maintain credibility and anonymity.

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Arlinda Rrustemi is a researcher and lecturer on peace and conflict studies. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Leiden University in the Netherlands. In 2016, Arlinda defended her doctoral thesis, entitled "State-Building through Life Stories: Incorporating Local Perspectives”, which was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). She holds a B.A. (cum laude) from the University College Roosevelt and an LL.M. degree in Public International Law from Utrecht University. She teaches on humanitarian intervention, peacebuilding, power instruments and multilateral organizations, and is involved in several research projects uncovering peace infrastructures and countering radicalization.