Analysis of user reports on censorship

Andrew Quodling

As part of the project with, the research team has been analysing the user reports submitted through the website. In these reports, users detail their experiences of content moderation practices and policies on a variety of social media platforms and discuss the impacts that the moderation decisions of internet companies have on their lives.  We’ve just completed our first pass of analysis for this data — familiarising ourselves with the issues described by users and exploring themes that are apparent amongst user responses. To read more, click  here.


Digital rights advocates: Dilemmas and challenges of working with the public

Efrat Daskal

How do digital rights organizations around the world garner public attention and involvement on issues such as privacy, net neutrality, freedom of expression online, and internet access issues? While activists involved in any political or social cause need to develop a strategy to persuade members of the public to contribute time and money to a particular cause, advocacy around rights online are particularly challenging. Policymaking around these issues are technologically complex and often transnational, and are often highly politicized in various national contexts. In this post and an ongoing IPO research project, Efrat Daskal seeks to understand the ways in which 15 organizations working in different countries from three different continents approach digital rights advocacy. To read more, click here.

Six Frames Against Surveillance

Till Wäscher, School of International and Intercultural Communication & TU Dortmund

For years, privacy advocates had been speculating about a possible “Privacy Chernobyl” – a major scandal that would put the issue of surveillance on the global agenda and create a mass social movement against privacy intrusions committed by governments and corporations.[1] In the summer of 2013, this speculation became reality. Edward Snowden’s leaked documents detailing the mass surveillance activities conducted by the National Security Agency and its international partners caused – to stick to the nuclear disaster analogy – a temporary meltdown of public trust by citizens around the world.

The Snowden revelations revitalized in the public consciousness an almost forgotten genre of contentious politics – privacy activism. The main objective of this blog series is to identify, analyse, and critically assess the political communication of activists during anti-surveillance campaigns in the first year after the Snowden revelations to better understand the ways in which these issues have been framed by activists, understood by the public, portrayed by the media, and potentially acted upon in a variety of contexts.  

The series is based on the author’s dissertation on political communication tactics of the global privacy community for which he conducted 21 semi-structured interviews with activists from 14 countries. This first post in the series focuses on the core collective action frames against surveillance, articulated by the privacy activist community over the course of four campaigns: “Restore the Fourth/1984 Day” (July-August, 2013), “Stop Watching Us” (October, 2013), “The Day We Fight Back” (February, 2014), and “Reset the Net” (July, 2o14). These were largely on U.S.-centric protests; subsequent pieces in the series will explore how resistance to surveillance has been framed in other parts of the world.

Legal Frames

“Restore the Fourth” was the first attempt to organize and protest surveillance issues after the Snowden revelations. Mainly coordinated through message boards on the social news website Reddit, in more than 80 American cities (as well in Munich, Germany) people took to the streets to protest NSA surveillance. The three core demands of the “Restore the Fourth” network were to reform section 215 of the controversial Patriot Act; the creation of an oversight committee to keep checks on surveillance programs; and initiate accountability measures for public service figures involved in domestic spying activities.

Much of the communication efforts by… (click here to read the rest of this post).

Global Internet Policy Round-up: August 2017

This month, we’ve summarized relevant occurrences from around the world related to internet policymaking in the IPO’s ‘Internet Policy Roundup’. In  our August roundup, read about journalists and politicians in Thailand who have been charged for facebook comments, a new popular app in Saudi Arabia that is providing a controversial space for anonymous feedback, China’s new cyber courts,  internet shutdowns in Ethiopia, and a court case against Google in Canada that could have significant effects of freedom of information around the world. These and other story summaries in the roundup here.


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