It’s February, which means the 2017 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards are right around the corner. This week, the shortlist of nominees was announced in four categories: arts, campaigning, digital activism and journalism. Featured below are the nominees for digital activism, recognized “for innovative uses of technology to circumvent censorship and enable free and independent exchange of information”.
- Jensiat: a (heavily censored) Iranian online graphic novel that offers accessible sexual health and cybersecurity awareness and provides access to verified digital security resources. According to Jensiat’s creators, “Our interactions with readers leads us to believe they have picked up what we’ve been discussing, and are incorporating them into their online lives.”
- Bill Marczak: Marczak’s Bahrain Watch promotes accountable and transparent governance by investigating and running campaigns in response to activists’ social media posts. Said Marczak, “There’s many an activist who face serious risks from their government of being beaten up or being tortured just because they express opinions. I think that’s unacceptable and that’s one of the things I am trying to prevent.”
- Evan Mawarire: When Pastor Mawarire expressed his displeasure with the Zimbabwean government by posting a video of himself draped in the country’s flag, people listened. More than eight million people joined a government boycott in response. Explained Mawarire, “I called the campaign #ThisFlag because it encouraged citizens to get involved in reclaiming national pride by condemning the shameless actions of government and its officials.”
- Turkey Blocks: an Alp Toker-led team that monitors, reports on and investigates internet restrictions in Turkey. Turkey Blocks’ successful tools have begun to be utilized elsewhere. Reported Alp Toker, “Our alerts, issued within minutes of detection, have helped Turkish citizens to stay online when shutdowns get implemented and provided the media with enough confidence to report assertively on digital censorship in Turkey.”
Thank an activist, surf secure and stay Rando!
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