GV Essay Competition: How Do Internet Policies Affect Your Community?

Group photo from Global Voices 2012 Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.

Group photo from Global Voices 2012 Summit in Nairobi, Kenya.

How do corporate and government policy decisions affect Internet users? Global Voices’ Advox project wants to hear what our network of bloggers, activists, and social media experts have to say about this, in essay form.

As part of the 2015 GV Summit, we’re inviting our community members and partners to write and submit essays that explain — in plain language — the real-world effects of an Internet-related policy on citizens in a specific country or region. The policy could come from a government, an international regulatory body or a technology company. Explain how the policy affects citizens (activists, bloggers, journalists or others) using the Internet to increase public access to information, ensure government accountability, or promote human rights.

From government surveillance programs, to social media censorship, from the Right to Be Forgotten to net neutrality, governments, companies, and regulators have a profound impact on what we can and cannot do online. As a community, we know this all too well – and we know that in order to understand an abuse, an arrest, or to really see where a policy comes from and how it takes shape, it is critical to consider that country's politics, its economy and its history. We are uniquely positioned to tell these stories.

We are looking less for technical analysis or abstraction than for compelling ways to explain the many challenges to rights to free expression and privacy online, such that any active Internet user can understand them.

The goal of this competition is to amplify the voices and perspectives of our community, to help show the world the effects of policy. We aim to honor outstanding writing and thinking with an honorarium and recognition at the Global Voices 2015 Summit. Winners will be awarded USD $1000 (1st prize), $500 (2nd prize) and $250 (3rd prize). 

We are lucky to have a group of open Internet advocates and policy experts from around the world joining us as judges for the competition. The competition is funded thanks to a generous contribution by Google, one of the sponsors of the 2015 Global Voices Summit.

Please submit an essay of between 800 and 1400 words using this form. Essays can be submitted in any language with an active (“regularly updated) site within Global Voices. We will publish the essays in rolling form on the Global Voices 2015 Summit site, under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. We will accept essays submitted between August 1, 2014 (retroactive if the topic is relevant) through December 7, 2014. Submissions are due at 11:59 PM Pacific Time (UTC-7) on December 7, 2014.

Submit your essay here!

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