Global Voices Summit: Citizen Media and Online Free Speech

DigiActive’s Mary Joyce moderated the second panel of the Summit that included bloggers from Egypt, Morocco, Hong Kong, Singapore and Iran.

The main points from the presentations:

  • Newspapers in Egypt have stolen blog content and printed them;
  • Blogger criticizing Libyan leader Gaddafi was forced shut down her blog;
  • Mobile phone credit via Mpesa was more important than money in Kenya’s post-election period;
  • There was a lot of self-censorship in the Blogosphere during the violence in Kenya;
  • Using Twitter via mobile phone costs credit with every text message;
  • For Ory Okolloh, not being anonymous was an advantage;
  • In Singapore, the relatively high standard of living makes people more willing to accept censorship;
  • Use of camera phones to film police injustice and corruption spreading in Morocco;
  • Moroccan activist imprisoned and tortured for putting fake profile of Prince’s brother on Facebook; when interrogated, he was asked, “Why did you invent Facebook?”
  • Recent social protests in Sidi Ifni were repressed by police forces; the Moroccan government initially denied that anything had occured, but the incident was well covered by camera phones with numerous videos posted on YouTube. The government then had to conceded that there had been some unrest;
  • Iranian officials announced in 2006 that some 10 million Internet sites are blocked by government agencies.
  • Anti-Bush and anti-war American blogs and sites are filtered in Iran; while Neoco pro war blogs with Iran are not filtered.

Patrick Philippe Meier

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