2011 was by many accounts ‘the year of the protester.’ From Tunisia to Oakland, activists took to the streets—and to social networks—to express themselves and their grievances. But while many were successful in using online tools in their activism, others faced grave consequences.
So far, 2012 hasn’t been any easier. Less than six weeks into the year, EFF has already documented nine cases of bloggers under fire: in Oman and South Korea; Bahrain and China; Thailand; Iran; Vietnam; and Ethiopia. And just this week, two more Iranian bloggers were arrested, a Saudi citizen was forced to flee his country after receiving death threats for content he’d posted on Twitter, and both an Indonesian and a Moroccan were detained for posts made on Facebook. These additional cases mean that so far in 2012, fourteen netizens have been threatened for content posted online...and those are just the ones we know about.
This is a trend that shows no signs of abating. To that end, we are working with Global Voices Online’s Threatened Voices project to help shed light on the threats faced by netizens around the world. We have created a new landing page to track instances of bloggers and other Internet users being threatened, arrested, harassed, or otherwise harmed. We will also continue our efforts to report new cases, working with other organizations and individuals around the world, to ensure that those individuals’ voices and stories are heard.