Threatened Voices maps persecution of digital activists

Global Voices Advocacy just launched their most recent project, called Threatened Voices. It is probably the most elaborate site on the persecution of bloggers, a topic that I have contributed a chapter on to DigiActive’s upcoming book release. I’ll just quote from Sami ben Gharbia’s posting:

Today, Global Voices Advocacy is launching a new website called Threatened Voices to help track suppression of free speech online. It features a world map and an interactive timeline that help visualize the story of threats and arrests against bloggers worldwide, and it is a central platform to gather information from the most dedicated organisations and activists […].

Threatened Voices aims to crowd-source information on harassment and arrests of bloggers worldwide. I had the opportunity to talk to Sami today at a Google event on freedom of expression in Berlin and he told that people already started to submit reports, which is an amazing start for the project.

I have committed some hours myself to entering data from my research on blogger arrests for the DigiActive book. Unfortunately I never got around to do as much as I would have liked and it doesn’t look much like I will do it anytime soon.

But here’s the deal: I still have my list of arrested blogger that I compiled for the book research. As far as I am concerned, it is the most comprehensive list dealing with blogger arrests on the net – at least I did never see anything similar. And if I cannot enter all the data myself, I can at least share this list with you. Just download it below.

I would love if some of you would take up what I have compiled and work with it. Whether you choose to submit it to the Threatened Voices database or to play around with the data in another way is open to you. If you use it outside of Threatened Voices, crediting me and linking to this site would be nice. By the way I have proposed that Threatened Voices should get an API, so anything that is added to its database should be available for mashups in the future.

Just some quick introduction to the structure of my list: It consists of the names of 162 bloggers that had been in prison at any time before August 1, 2009. That’s the cut-off date I chose for my book research. Please note that some of these people actually might not have been put in jail for their blogging, but other reasons. This is often unclear. All arrests and releases are sourced, so you can easily do additional research and verify the data. The status – whether someone is currently in jail – dates from August 1, 2009, so it might have changed since then. The rest should be self-explanatory. If not, there are plenty of way to contact me.

Download the Excel sheet here

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