Today we release a database showing WHERE, WHEN and HOW more than 38,000 buildings were destroyed in Myanmar's Rakhine State between 2017 & 2020.

Here is the data: Here is an explainer thread on the work by @ocelliproject @KayleighRuiter & @C4ADS👇🛰️
The data has been turned into a visualisation and interactive website by @C4ADS & @Jack_Mrgln. We wanted to make sure that this data is accessible to all levels of researchers, so please do click around and use it to further your investigations & research
First, WHO are we?

We're a group of volunteers (yes we do this in our spare time) specialised in mapping and databases. You can see more of what we do at @ocelliproject.

We focus on making publicly available geodatabases to help journalists, investigators and researchers.
WHY did we do this? One look at Rakhine on @googleearth shows scores of villages wiped off the map.

We felt a need to build a freely available dataset documenting every single building with a transparent methodology that could be replicated by anyone.
There has been numerous independent sources of research done in the past, but there's still so much work to do in documenting the horrific story of what was referred to as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing"…
This work is important given the current activity in Myanmar's North where numerous villages and buildings have been burned to the ground.

Through work we do at @MyanmarWitness we're concerned about what happened in the past & #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar
HOW did we do this project? We followed the six steps seen in the graphic below and we've made this workflow replicable for other subjects that require this approach to large-scale documentation.

Here is a link to our full @ocelliproject methodology:…
Our workflow is based on dividing imagery analysis over a team. How?

We conducted an initial sweep of the area, layered a grid and divided the area up amongst volunteers to go through each square kilometre. We were able to cover 3,283 square kilometres in that manner.
WHAT did we find by doing this? You can see all of our results in this spreadsheet: & data interactive:

The data interactive shows satellite imagery of before and after the destruction occurred.
As a result of doing this documentation we identified more 38,000 destroyed buildings, more than 24,000 of which had clear burn marks as seen in @googleearth satellite imagery.
We cross-referenced all of our findings with @sentinel_hub imagery. We used freely available satellite imagery in this project for transparency & replicability of findings.

Where possible, we've added timelapses of the destruction such as this one from Myo Thu Gyi
Building off the back of amazing work by @Nrg8000 & @elisethoma5 @ASPI_org (…), we documented significant land clearing and when new buildings popped up on top of where villages were destroyed.

You can see that analysis here:
For example, here is one interesting location where villages were destroyed and land was completely cleared. This location is here:… around the Anauk Myinhlut and Al Le Than Kyaw area.
Observing areas like this is important, as we have also identified changes along the coastline and small encampments where villages were destroyed and cleared.
We've documented a lot more of new constructions that you can find in the second tab of the spreadsheet here:

If anyone is doing further work on investigating Rakhine State - we hope this will be helpful.
If you want to get your hands on the KML and see the annotations on @googleearth yourself, the KML is in this drive folder:…
We have made all of the data accessible in this drive:….

In there you will also find before and after imagery of every site - we hope that this type of database might assist anyone looking for large datasets for potential development fields
This project would not have been possible without the countless days/weeks/months of dedication from @KayleighRuiter - give her a follow as she is an incredible analyst and makes an epic spreadsheet (here's the proof:…)

Also a massive kudos to the wider volunteer team that worked on the @ocelliproject documenting change in Rakhine State: @hrgwilson1, Gavin de Ruiter, @anant_saria, @TomTomjarvis, @bullock_milo, @JKPoupon, @jadolecek, Paul Gruet, Tineke Ellens
There's a lot of resources in this thread, all of which are on the @ocelliproject & @C4ADS website here:

We hope this work inspires future investigations, research and strengthens justice & accountability for what happened in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

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More from @BenDoBrown

24 Nov
A coordinated network of fake accounts posed as Sikh personas to promote the Indian Govt, nationalism & label Sikh activists as terrorists.

They claimed they were #RealSikhs, but were far from it. News on our investigation:… Here is an explainer thread👇
What we know is that their aims were to label Sikh political interests as extremist, stoke cultural tensions within India & overseas & promote the Indian Govt.

So WHO are the #RealSikhs?
WHAT was their aim?
And HOW did they attempt to distort perceptions?
First, WHO were these accounts trying to be and what did they look like?

The accounts were well-curated. They had relatively high follower numbers & were very active.

The personas were replicated across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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25 Oct
There appears to be an internet blackout in Sudan today after members of the government were arrested during a military coup. @netblocks
Sudan is back on the streets in protest against the coup and the arrest of leaders, including PM Hamdock.

This footage is from Omdurman, near Khartoum #SudanUprising.
Here is a thread from my friend @Drsalmaa detailing who was detained, as well as reports of the Rapid Support Forces deployed in Khartoum (the same group responsible for a massacre in June 2019).
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17 Apr
The tag #Remove1991WorshipAct is trending in India today. In fact, it was sitting at #3 in the country a few hours ago.

There's a campaign pushing a specific narrative behind it in a very coordinated way.

Let's take a look at how it works👇 /1
The campaign is first circulated around in a WhatsApp message like this.

It has a directive, time, and a Google Drive link. If you're new to Indian social media campaigns - this is common practice to amplify specific issues, especially during elections. 2/
In the Google Drive is a few documents with lists of suggested tweet texts in English & Hindi.

What's interesting is that there's also a 'click to tweet' option, which fills out a tweet by clicking on the link. So it's not really copy and paste anymore, but click and click. 3/
Read 6 tweets
14 Mar
It’s been six weeks since the Myanmar coup. Despite deaths, violence by security forces, internet shutdowns and night raids, demonstrators brave the streets. This was Hledan, Yangon, last night ✊
For the 31st night in a row the internet has been cut in Myanmar. That, and cell networks have now been offline for two days - @netblocks reports. #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar Image
Well-timed satellite image on Google Earth 13/2 of the demonstration in front of the City Hall in Yangon (ရန်ကုန်). Note the military transport tucked behind the trees on the right, on standby. Location:…. ImageImage
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19 Feb
An influence operation was waged online yesterday to amplify pro-BJP text in the #AmitShahInBengal tag, attack opposition, and win over Indian voters. Full report:…

This forensic thread details 🧵👇
- HOW it was done
- HOW it spread
- WHO runs them

Yesterday morning I came across these tweets, and was sent these WhatsApp messages from contacts in India.

What are they? They're links to a Google Drive, containing suggested tweets and graphics to use. Let's have a closer peek.
Here is the Google Drive with a Google Document containing text packets of suggested tweets, and a folder with images for the network to pump out through Twitter.
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17 Feb
Facebook just announced it will restrict publishers and users in Australia from sharing or viewing news content.

Here's the breakdown of what that entails 👇… Image
Also an important point. It's not just Australia. The restriction is international, on Australian news publishers.

"Globally, posting and sharing news links from Australian publishers is also restricted".

That will be crippling. Image
Oh no! They got the Albany Advertiser Facebook page!

I did my cadetship here in 2009. A great community-based newspaper. It's just one of the many Facebook pages that have become a staple for media in Australia that are now cleared. ImageImage
Read 7 tweets

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