THE BLOG
01/09/2013 04:25 pm ET Updated Mar 11, 2013

How Does the Internet Give You a Voice?

Internet Freedom Day, January 18th, that's a big deal.

Folks, I want to know: how does the Internet give you a voice? I'm collecting answers about how the Internet gives people a voice that I will share on Internet Freedom Day on January 18th.

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Here's the deal:
  • Write about how the Internet gives you a voice. You can either write a post on your blog explaining how the Internet gives you a voice or send me a blurb (300 words or less) at socialgood@craigconnects.org or using the hashtag #InternetFreedom on Twitter.
  • Send a link to your post by email to socialgood@craigconnects.org by January 17th. Make sure you include your full name, organization, your blog's name and the blog post url if you decide to write a blog post for this.
  •  I will be doing a big wrap up post highlighting folks' reflections on January 18th, Internet Freedom Day.
  • Tag your post Internet Freedom, and feel free to link back to this open call to encourage others in the community to share their story about how the Internet gives them a voice.
We'll sort through submissions and share some of the best ideas in a blog post on Internet Freedom Day on January 18th. We'll also tweet some ideas, echoing just how important the Net is.

We take things for granted, like the vitality and freedom offered by the Internet. The Net potentially gives everyone a voice. However, it's not available to everyone, and that freedom must be asserted and sometimes fought for to keep it.

Internet Freedom Day reminds us that we all need to work together to preserve what we have and to help everyone realize their own individual voice. It's something which we assert frequently, not just one day, but it's one way to remind ourselves that what we take for granted can be lost.

To give a voice to the voiceless, my team and I work to get serious network connectivity where it's a challenge. Specifically, we work with Inveneo.org, a team which is really good at getting the Internet in difficult circumstances. For example, we"ve supported them in Haiti, the West Bank, and Kenya.

To help protect what we have in the U.S., we help preserve one of the laws which preserve freedom of speech. That's section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Now and then, bad politicians attack it, but it's a strong protection against those who would suppress stuff that they just don't like. It's being able to voice stuff like this that let's me know the Internet really does give me a voice. We've worked with the Electronic Freedom Foundation to better explain CDA 230, so please check out this infographic:

And remember to tell us how the Internet gives you a voice!