Internet users flocked to the Reporters Without Borders website to take part in a 24-hour protest against online censorship that has just ended, while symbolic demonstrations were held yesterday on the streets of Paris and New York. After receiving more than 100,000 visits in 24 hours, the protest webpage - http://www.rsf.org/24h - will remain open for a few more days so that Internet users can continue posting messages there.
“We wanted to demonstrate that bloggers and Internet users the world over feel concerned about the problem of online censorship,” the press freedom organisation said. “The scale of the participation shows that people are not indifferent about the fate of Chinese, Egyptian or Cuban dissidents.”
Reporters Without Borders added: “We have also once again seen that the way Yahoo! compromises its principles in China provokes a reaction of deeply-felt disapproval. It is high time this corporation took concrete steps to respect press freedom.”
Massive online participation
By 11 a.m. today, more than 17,000 people had voted on the Internet enemies map. Breakdown of the votes: Belarus (2,500), Burma (4,500), China (4,100), Cuba (1,000), Egypt (650), Iran (1,500), North Korea (200), Saudi Arabia (650), Syria (200), Tunisia (1300), Turkmenistan (250), Uzbekistan (150), Vietnam (250).
3,300 Internet users posted a message of support
340 messages audio messages were recorded online pour Jerry Yang, Yahoo!’s founder. These recordings will be handed in next week to Yahoo! France executives.
55 blogs were created on the Reporters Without Borders blog platform: www.rsfblog.org.
Reporters Without Borders urges Internet users to continue recording messages for Yahoo!’s founder on the http://www.rsf.org/24h webpage, which will remain open for a few more days. The most original messages will be posted prominently on our website.
Events on the streets of Paris and New York (see photos below)
In New York, mobile billboards drove around the streets of the city displaying large posters of a map of the world highlighting the Internet black holes. “Ad bikes” also crisscrossed Manhattan and parked in various spots, including outside Yahoo!’s New York headquarters.
In Paris, Reporters Without Borders projected a gigantic world map of online censorship onto the city’s monuments as night fell yesterday. The press and passers-by saw the map displayed on the facade of Saint-Lazare station, the Bastille Opera and the building that houses the French headquarters of Yahoo!. Reporters Without Borders activists requested a meeting with Yahoo! executives in order to hand in the audio messages that were recorded during the cyber-demo. A meeting has been set for next week.
In New York: