WordPress: Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

bloggersunitebadgeBlogCatalog.com partners with Amnesty International for Bloggers Unite For Human Rights
BlogCatalog.com, the fastest-growing social network for bloggers on the Internet, is partnering with Amnesty International, a worldwide movement that campaigns for internationally recognized human rights, to expand a global social awareness campaign for human rights by launching a major initiative on May 15.

Bloggers Unite For Human Rights, which asks bloggers from all over the world to post about human rights on the same day, May 15. Collectively, the posts will reach millions of people all over the world at the same time, even in those countries where freedom of expression is regularly suppressed.

Amnesty International is thrilled to be a part of Bloggers Unite for Human Rights,” said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Bloggers Unite for Human Rights is a great way to harness the power of the Internet to fight injustice and make the world a better place.

I have previously posted about how to become involved in the campaign. On May 15th 2008, join us and blog about Human Rights. There are dozens and dozens of human rights issues that you can write about and many can be found in my previous post.

globe-in-handBlogging is HUGE
Technorati tracks nearly 70 million blogs on a daily basis and 120, 000 blogs are being created every day. Wikipedia recently reached a milestone of 10 million entries, surpassing the 42,000 of its online competitor, Encarta. All this writing and posting online is not only about creative expression it’s also about money, for example in 2006, the total revenue for the top 50,000 blogs was US$500 million (RM1.59 billion).

China with 42 million bloggers has the largest blogging community in the world, recently surpassing the United States as the country with the most Internet users. According to BDA the United States hosts 216 million internet users but, China had more than 220 million people on the internet as of February 2008 and that number soared to 233 million in March.

The India Internet usage study reported in 2006 that more than 25 per cent of India’s 38 million internet users are active bloggers.

Access Denied
We usually take it for granted that we can have complete, unrestricted access to the Internet, wherever we are these days, but a recent study by an international group of researchers illustrates exactly how wrong this notion is.

The authors involved in the OpenNet Initiative say in their book, Access Denied: “Claiming control of the Internet has become an essential element in any government strategy to rein in dissent–the twenty-first century parallel to taking over television and radio stations.”

Global Voices Advocacy is a project of Global Voices Online. They seek to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists throughout the developing world that is dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and free access to information online. The aim of this network is to raise awareness of online freedom of speech issues, and to share tools and tactics with activists and bloggers facing censorship on different parts of the globe. (See: Counter Measures below)

accessdeniedThe Biggest Blockers
The identity of the two biggest blockers (in terms of the number and type of sites) is not surprising. THey are Iran and China. Both countries block by keywords in the URL stream. China also blocks ranges of specific IP addresses, and, in fact, has the most extensive filtering system, which implements blocks at various network levels and across the widest range of topics.

WordPress has also been blocked in China since 2006. Other blogging sites like Livejournal, Xanga, and Greatestjournal are also blocked. Blogspot is semi-blocked… you can log in to your account and update your blog however you cannot view your blog or any other Blogspot blogs. WordPress is completely blocked—you cannot log in to your account or view WordPress blogs using the normal way.

Matt Mullenweg, founder of the wordpress multiuser blogging platform, the free hosted version at WordPress.com, reported in August 2007 that wordpress has been blocked in Turkey.

On August 22th, 2007, access to wordpress.com blogging platform has been blocked by (Telecommunication Authority) preventing TOTThailand‘s Internet users from accessing Thai WordPress and all blogs hosted on wordpress.com.

As of April 2008 Matt Mullenweg of wordpress.com reported that Brazil has blocked wordpress.com bloggers. Mullenweg said: “We are represented in the case by Marcel Leonardi, a Brazilian attorney, law professor, and cyberlaw scholar. He is working on the case pro bono on behalf of the WordPress.com community.”

Global Voices Advocacy and Counter Measures

sample image for this post 403 Checker A free software to scan a large number of URLs to determine which ones your country has blocked.
sample image for this post Access Denied Map
Mapping the online censorship and anti-censorship efforts related to the social web and major web 2.0 websites.
sample image for this post Anonymous Blogging with WordPress & Tor

Step-by-step guidance on blogging while protecting your privacy, for personal safety.
sample image for this post Blockpages

A gallery of screenshots of blockpages from national filtering systems, and Internet service providers. more »

sample image for this post Guide: Blog for a Cause! Our creative guide to using blogs as a advocacy tools for social and political change.

How Open Is the International Internet?
WordPress is Blocked in China
Brazil: WordPress attorney blogs about the blocking
WordPress.com being blocked in Brazil
WordPress.com Banned Again: Why Aren’t You Concerned?

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