Crocodyl is a collaboration between nonprofit organizations such as Center for Corporate Policy, CorpWatch, Corporate Research Project, other contributing organizations and individual contributors from around the world.
For small activist community groups campaigning against Bechtel in Nevada or Barrick Gold in Papua New Guinea, attempting to track and hold global multinationals accountable for environmental or human rights abuse in their communities is a formidable endeavor. Crocodyl can help them challenge the public relations machines of big business by providing an easy-to-access snapshot of information about these companies, including an inventory of their misdeeds. Crocodyl also increases traffic flow in the reverse direction, drawing attention to information gathered by small watchdog groups working on the front lines of corporate accountability. In addition, Crocodyl is intended to be useful to researchers, journalists, concerned investors, consumers and the public at large.
Using network tools such as the Wiki, Crocodyl.org enables disparate groups and individuals to pool our knowledge about specific corporations in order to reduce the high cost of corporate research and ensure maximum efficiency in holding corporations accountable. Now professional researchers in Mumbai, India can team up with a citizen journalist in the Netherlands to track international companies not easily held accountable in one country.
Our information is divided by Issue and Industry and tracks the impact of corporations on public policy, health, sustainability, human rights, social justice, labor, and issues relating to corporate responsibility. We use our contributors' knowledge and experience of these industries and issues to inform the global conversation in other online communities of knowledge, such as Wikipedia, SourceWatch, OpenCongress.org and WiserEarth.
The proliferation of Open Source and Free Software as well as the vibrant global conversations in the blogosphere bring to life the power of collaborative networking to create a more accessible information ecology. Our project allows technical and non-technical users alike to freely create and edit pages, with assurance that the highest standards will be upheld by the community of editors and experts. Anyone can add a page, making the new information available immediately and allowing ordinary citizens to report on a breaking news event, quicker than the mainstream media.. Information that is breaking, controversial, or in question is encouraged, but must be clearly sourced so that readers can judge the information for themselves.
Of course, no solution is perfect -- the very “open-source” nature of this kind of journalism means that companies themselves and malicious or misinformed individuals can publish material on the site, possibly distorting its accuracy. The solution is to use our community and our editors to vet and verify posted material, allowing the most thoroughly scrutinized material to be re-published in a section that is not open for general editing and is updated less frequently. In this way we can use the collective wisdom of industry watchdogs, nonprofits working on campaigns, company shareholders and other stakeholders to hold corporations to the highest standards of accountability.