WE FIGHT CENSORSHIP: Sheltering news and information
WeFightCensorship.org (WeFC) is a Reporters Without Borders project that aims to combat censorship and promote the flow of news and information.
Publishing censored and banned content
The WeFC website is used to publish content that has been censored or banned or has led to reprisals against its creator (murder, arrest, harassment, pressure and so on). The site hosts content (articles, photos, videos and sound files) in their original language (including Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Spanish) and in translation (above all in French and English). Reporters Without Borders took the initiative of creating this website because it wants to make censorship obsolete, to show that depriving content creators of their freedom, seizing copies of a newspaper or blocking access to a website containing a video will not prevent the content from being seen throughout the world – quite the contrary. The content posted on this website includes both raw content and content that has been written, edited or processed by journalists. So that its importance can be appreciated, WeFC adds an explanation of the context. Before selected content is posted on the site, the WeFC editorial committee verifies that it meets a series of very precise criteria.
A secured “digital safe” can be used to submit content to Reporters Without Borders. The digital safe is designed to help contributors protect their anonymity when transmitting files. We nonetheless also urge them to secure their Internet connection by using a VPN or an anonymization tool such as Tor, I2P or Psiphon. Publication of content is not automatic. It has to be approved by the WeFC editorial committee.
Online “Survival Kit”
The site also offers practical tools, advice and techniques that teach netizens how to circumvent censorship and to secure their communications and data. A “Digital Survival Kit” will gradually be unveiled over the coming months in order to provide everyone with the means to resist censors, governments or interests groups that want to control news and information and gag dissenting voices.
Streisand deterrent effect
We want the WeFightCensorship.org website and all of its content, tools and guides to be accessible in the countries where this content is banned. To this end, the site is designed to be easily duplicated in the form of so-called mirror sites all over the world. As a result, every piece of content posted on WeFightCensorship.org will be instantly duplicated on all the copies of the website that have been created in other parts of the world. We invite Internet users to participate in this project by hosting WeFightCensorship.org mirrors on their servers. We are posting a document detailing the various ways of creating copies of our site, together with scripts for automating these procedures. One of our aims is to exploit the Streisand Effect, under which the greater the efforts to censor a piece of online content, the more the Internet community tends to circulate it. The effect gets its name from US singer Barbra Streisand, who experienced it when she tried to suppress photos of her Californian beach home. Censorship is not inevitable. Join our fight. Help us to shelter content from censorship.
This project would not have seen the light of day without the support of the European Union’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the Paris City Hall.