“My name is not Adam” is a representation of the story of Adam. Adam is
a human right defender from Iraq who is working on digital rights. He is the founder of a large fact- chcecking network in the Middle East and North Africa. The focus of the network is to discredit sources of fake news by referencing them and
providing proof to their claims through verified sources. The organisation also
confirms the true news that lacks verified sources by adding additional sources
Most Iraqi news media outlets are owned by or affiliated with political parties
and ethnic factions, often leading to sharply partisan coverage. Governement
officials threaten to close or revoke the licenses of critical media outlets.
Adam’s work led to the fact that all of these “digital armies” are trying to
take the work of the network down.
Adam has been a victim of several digital and verbal threats by prominent Iraqi
people and organisations, as well as by anonymous persons. He receives threats
not only directed to his organisation but
also at his private number and at his home address. The insecure situation is
enlarged by the threat to takedown the website of the network. As a result of the threats Adam often changes his appearance and the way he travels to work.
Furthermore, he limited his network to only his closest friedns
and relatives. Adam needed to stay anounymous. Now the organisations that
harras him have all his information. The situation became so bad, that it does
not matter if Adam stays anonymous anymore.
This work is an investigation of why Adam can not use his real name. I’m investigating how these harassments have led to changes. How human right
defenders need to adjust their lives in order to stay safe, but also to do
their job. How organisations try to demoralise critical individuals and what
identity means when one can not be visible.