Safeguarding Scholars Still In-Country

The war in Afghanistan has been officially declared over with approximately 116,700 people evacuated, according to the latest information from the White House.

Among those evacuated are scholars, students, faculty, and higher education personnel and their families. Organizations in higher education have been working alongside the U.S. government and other entities to safely and swiftly evacuate their colleagues and provide critical humanitarian assistance.

Although many of those students and colleagues have been safely evacuated and relocated, it’s unclear how many still remain in-country. Further, many have family and friends that will continue to reside in Afghanistan. In an effort to protect people still in Afghanistan or with connections in Afghanistan some colleges and universities have been scouring, then scrubbing, their websites for identifiable information such as pictures, locations, etc., which could result in those students and colleagues becoming a target due to their affiliation with U.S. institutions.

Using DubBot’s Web Governance / Custom Check feature has aided one such university in quickly and efficiently identifying information associated with students, faculty, and other educational personnel that remain in-country on their website and have it removed.

Custom Checks are rules that can be set, allowing you to create your own checks within content. Checks can be created with regular text, Link Text, Link URL, XPath, CSS, and Regular Expression.

For example, if you need to find all the instances of a person’s name or country, you simply create a Custom Check using regular text. DubBot then crawls your website, flags each instance and provides you with page location.

I don’t know that the engineers of the Custom Check feature ever thought it would be used for such a critical mission. One thing is for certain. Ensuring the safety of those that remain in Afghanistan will be an ongoing effort by many in higher education until all students, faculty and educational colleagues are home, safe and sound.

Resources

Maggie Vaughan, CPACC
~ friend of DubBot, A11Y practitioner in higher ed