Tracking voices of protestBy MidEast Youth
In the past five years we’ve all seen, and perhaps participated in, street protests expressing dissent and looking for social change. An integral element of organising and tracking these actions has been free access to information – especially online.
2011 heralded the Arab Spring in countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Mideast Youth, a regional NGO based in Bahrain, was established to use digital media to support protestors and get their voices heard. They perform this vital role, despite censorship in their own country and abroad, through different projects and with the support of readers and well-wishers.
CrowdVoice.org is one such project. Founder Esra’a Al Shafei and her team began the service to monitor social movements in the MENA region, but soon received requests to roll out the platform to amplify even more voices. Built on an open source platform, the team was quick to realise the potential of CrowdVoice.org, and now hosts content from across the world.
Local teams and individuals use CrowdVoice.org to collect, store and present content. Users can contribute articles, images, video and more, crowdsourcing news on protests and collating death tolls, refugee numbers and background information into breaking segments and interactive timelines. The community is self-reliant, approving stories and sources that others have submitted to form a truly revolutionary platform and chronicling change as it happens.
CrowdVoice.org is an Award Finalist for 2015’s INDEX, and the team plans to build on their reputation by expanding the platform to include a customisable interface for individuals. Supported by the Omidyar Network and the Shuttleworth Foundation, CrowdVoice.org is looking to continue building their community of activists and fact-checkers, so check out the website and see how you can get involved.
Image courtesy of CrowdVoice.org
Last updated: 27th of May, 2014