Measuring human rights organization activity: A new dataset of over 120,000 press releases and 40 million social media posts
Human rights organizations (HROs) occupy a central position in theoretical and empirical work on social control, human rights, and repression. The literature argues that HROs play a large role in shaping rights practices across countries. According to this view, HROs primarily influence rights practices by naming and shaming the abuses of rights violators via public pronouncements. Researchers have been limited in their ability to empirical analyze the effect of HRO shaming, though, because there are limited data on these activities. In this paper, we introduce the two largest datasets of HRO shaming activities. The first dataset includes over 120,000 press releases issued from 1996-2018 by 10 international HROs. The second dataset includes over 40 million tweets issued by hundreds of domestic and international HROs. We illustrate the usefulness of these data by providing new descriptive evidence about how HROs name and shame governments for immigration rights violations. Our results have implications for the literatures on immigration, social control, human rights, and repression. We conclude the paper by outlining other possible uses of our data across the social sciences.