Every year, countries across the globe observe World Day against Cyber Censorship on 12 March. The main objective of this day is to stress on the importance of free speech on the internet and protest against cyber censorship.
The World Day Against Cyber Censorship also highlights how governments all over the globe are suppressing freedom of speech and expression on the World Wide Web.
This special day was first observed in 2008 by Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders. These organisations believe that every individual has the right to express their opinion on the World Wide Web.
Since then, World Day against Cyber Censorship has been organised every year to raise awareness about repressive governments and how they stifle freedom of speech on the internet in their countries.
These countries seek to suppress free speech on the World Wide Web through various means including strict laws for defamation and insulting the government, state and son on. It also involves blocking certain social media platforms or creating a special firewall so that residents cannot access some websites.
Why should we observe World Day Against Cyber Censorship?
While some people have questioned the idea of free speech on the internet due to several instances of disinformation, communal posts and violent videos circulating on social media, these cases cannot be the reason for censoring the World Wide Web.
The internet remains a space for people to air their grievances against injustice, corruption and other issues. The power of the internet is so feared by many authoritarian governments that they have sought to repress free speech through cyber censorship.
Cyber censorship leads to a society being unable to band together and bring about change. It also helps rulers bring forward only their version of events. Hence, it is necessary for people to oppose the idea of censoring the internet.
How is World Day Against Cyber Censorship observed?
Annually, the Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International organise the Netizen Award. This event is held to appreciate internet users who have made meaningful contributions in the campaign for online freedom.
During the event, the organisations also release a list of Enemies of the Internet for countries who have the most amount of cyber censorship.