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Imprisoned, disappeared, or hacked to death, because internet

The following is a list of individuals known to have been put in danger by their internet activities.

UPDATES (added from the top):

Merzoug Touati, Algerian blogger, imprisoned after an interview with an Israeli official over Skype. From JWF, lots of other sources in French.  added 2/10/2017

Nabeel Rajab, Bahrain, Twitter, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), opposes war in Yemen https://www.rt.com/news/372069-activist-rajab-bahrain-released/

Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, Iran, Facebook, wrote an unpublished short story about stoning,  JWF, &c. &c. added 12/28/2016

abdelaziz-bouteflika-on-twitter

In 2006, Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced a change in the constitution to allow the president to remain in office indefinitely.

Mohamed Tamalt, Algerian blogger, imprisoned under Algeria’s cybercrime law after a poem on FB about president Abdellaziz Boueflika, died in a coma after a 3 month hunger strike.  JWF. Guardian. Abdelaziz has limited speech and mobility due to health problems and is represented publicly by his deputies. Reported 12/11/2016.

Max Bokayev ( Макс Боқаев ) and Talgat Ayan ( Талғат Аян ) , Kazakhstan, sentenced on November 28, 2016 to 5 years after organizing protests on FB. JWFin Kazakh added 12/04/2016

Souad al-Shammary, سعاد الشمري Saudi Islamic scholar and women’s rights activist, imprisoned at Jiddah’s Briman prison on October 28, 2014 without trial, released January 29, 2015 at the same time Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman granted general amnesty for a large number of prisoners. Co-founded (BBCNews, the Guardian) Free Saudi Liberals Network with Raif Badawi, who is still imprisoned. For some reason this two-year-old story is re-emerging now.  ABCWorld Religion News, short profile on Front Line DefendersThe New Yorker, Middle East Eye, Al-Arabiya (2014), Pravda (in Russian, re-tweeting from AP Nov 2016).  New York Times and WaPo,  (Nov 2016 republished from the AP) arwiki (same person?) Added 11/19/2016.

Majed Al-Anizi,  ماجد العنزي Saudi YouNow  “يو ناو” video blogger, details and timeline unclear, arrested sometime before Abu Sin, probably October 2016. Saudi Gazette, al bawaba, al Arabiya English. Video of a conversation with an American named Katie went viral on Snapchat السناب شات , raising a very big buzz on social networking sites, especially Twitter (Ar) HuffPo. Added 10/23/2016

Abu Sin, أبوسن screen name of a Saudi Arabian video blogger, who faces three years in prison after appearing in video chats with Californian Christina Crockett @christinac842 Arrested while livestreaming from a car.   Video of arrest: (police car appears at about 7:00)Guardian, Saudi Gazette, and multiple others. Released on bail 10/6/16. Added 10/5/2016.

Nahed Hattar, ناهض حتّر , ناهض حتر Jordanian writer, arrested August 2016 after posting a cartoon to Facebook, killed in Amman on his way to court. BBCNews, Jordan Times, al-Rai and al-Jazeera (Arabic language) , Article 150 & 273 & 278 (Ar), of Jordanian penal code. https://twitter.com/clifferdson/status/779981072545161217 (added 9/25/2016)

Roya Saberinejad Nobakht, Farsi: رویا صابری نژاد نوبخت a British/Iranian, arrested at the airport when she went back to Iran to visit her parents in 2013, imprisoned  in Evin Prison, after she posted on Facebook that Iran was “too Islamic”. JIMAC, Guardian, Jimmy Wales Foundation, Independent, MEN.  Article on Farsi WP.  (Added 8/24/2016).

Scott Richards on FBqambar camp richardsScott Richards, سكوت ريتشاردز , a British/Australian  in Dubai, arrested  after raising money on Facebook for blankets for a refugee camp in Afghanistan where 100 children froze to deathBBC, Time, the Independent, ABC (Australia), the Telegraph, Grunaid.  Richards’ wife is allowed to bring him money once a week so he can buy water.  Refugee camp donations here.  Ar: BBC HuffPo Added August 19, 2016. Released on bail 23/Aug/2016. Charges dropped Sept 2016 https://7days.ae/charity-case-scott-richards-dubai-dropped

Tarek Alghorani - We wish to detain or we want prisoners.jpgTarek Alghorani, Syrian blogger.  In 2008 was sentenced to 7 years after blogging about the president, Bashar al-Assad, tortured in Sednaya Prison, released in 2011. Now lives in Tunis.

Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, محمد الشيخ ولد امخيطير  Mauritania blogger, sentenced to death for an article about Mohammad. H/T: Jimmy Wales Foundation.   Added 4/26/2016

Nazimuddin Samad, নাজিমুদ্দিন সামাদ।  Bangladesh, criticized Islamicism on Facebook, hacked with a machete and shot to death.   The Guardian. #NazimuddinSamadAmnesty International. BBC News. One in a series of attacks. CNN. (Added 4/7/2016)

Alaa Brinji علاء برنجي Saudi journalist, Twitter. BBC News. The IndependentAmnesty International. Under arrest since May 13 May 2014 (Reporters Without Borders) (Added 3/27/2016)

Their Weapons vs Our Weapons - Egypt, 2011 - photo Suzee In The City.jpgEsraa el-Taweel اسراء_الطويل , Egyptian activist and photojournalist. Disappeared, discovered in prison, wrote a letter detailing conditions for women in prison that was smuggled out, then released. Charges included “spreading false news through her social media account”. Prison letters published by her sister on FB at “اسراء الطويل فين – Where is Esraa Eltaweel“. (added 1/28/2016)

Hossein Ronaghi حسین رونقی, Iranian blogger in prison and denied medical treatment. (added 1/26/2016)

Keywan Karimi کیوان کریمی, Iranian film maker. Imprisoned in Iran. Petition from filmmakers. (added 1/26/2016)

Graffiti in Syria - A salute to the freedom of the mediaZahra Kazemi زهرا کاظمی , Canadian-Iranian photojournalist.  She was tortured to death in prison. (added 1/26/2016)

Sattar Beheshti ستار بهشتی was an Iranian blogger who died in prison after posting to Facebook. (added 1/19/2016)

Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki (حسین رونقی), Iranian blogger. His father, Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki, was sentenced to 4 months in prison after giving interviews about his son. (added 1/19/2016)

Samar_Badawi_with_Hillary_Rodham_Clinton_and_Michelle_Obama_at_2012_IWOC_Award

Samar Badawi accepts the International Women of Courage Award from Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2012.

Samar Badawi سمر بدوي, Saudi activist for voting and driving rights, sister of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi, and former wife of Waleed Abulkhair. It is thought she was accused of Tweeting from Waleed Abu al-Khair’s Twitter account. Released the next day, on Jan 13. Added Jan. 12, 2016

Ruqia Hassan  رقية حسن محمد , Syrian journalist from Raqqan who posted to Facebook under the pen name  Nissan Ibrahim نيسان ابراهيم , killed in September 2015 by ISIS. Also NYT. Added 1/6/2016

Vadim Tyumentsev, Вадим Тюменцев 5-year jail term in Russia for posts on YouTube and Vkontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook.myanmar green uniform

Color of Burma’s new army uniforms compared to Aung San Suu Kyi’s longi

Chaw Sandi Tun jailed in Myanmar/Burma after a photo appeared on her Facebook page comparing the color of the new army uniforms to Aung San Suu Kyi’s longi. (She says her FB was hacked, IME not at all surprising to have some external interference to FB in Asia.) H/T JWF. Added 12/31/2015.  [Image on right]

Igor Sychev, Игоря Сычева ethnic Russian blogger from Kazakhstan Казахстан
who moderated an unnamed social networking site that published a poll on whether the region should join Russia. Sentenced to 5 years in jail. H/T JWF. Added 12/31/2015.

Yermek Tachibekov, Ермек Тайчибеков  pro-Russian blogger jailed/on trial in Kazakhstan. Russian WP. Added 12/31/2015.

Hamid Buyabes, Hamid Turki Buyabs  حامد تركي بويابس editor in chief  رئيس تحرير of the Kuwait people’s newspaper جريدة الشعب الكويتية   jailed in Kuwait for comments about Saudi Arabia on Twitter, according to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information – ANHRI. H/T JWF.  On February 7, 2017, according to ANHRI,  acquitted of the “state security” charge, fined 10 thousand dinars (33 thousand and four hundred dollars) over the case of “misusing the phone”. Added 12/31/2015.

Nadia Vera, activist with #Yo Soy 132, was murdered, on July 31, 2015, along with photojournalist Rubén Espinosa, who had taken a controversial photo of a political figure, Yesenia Quiroz, Mile Virginia Martín, and Alejandra Negrete. Added 12/5/2015.

•Sara al-Drees (ar:سارة الدريس) jailed in Kuwait. TwitterBio at International Prize for Arabic Fiction.  Arabic Wikipedia. Simple English Wikipedia. H/T Jimbo at Jimmy Wales Foundation.  Added 11/27/2015.

•Four individuals in Hong Kong believed disappeared by China: Gui Minhai, Lui Bo, Cheung Jiping, and Lam Wingkei .  They are associated with a bookstore and publishing house that produces books critical of China, and are listed here because of China’s lack of internet access.

Faisal Arefin Dipon, hacked to death in Bangladesh.  WP: link  Added October 31, 2015.

jimbo wikimania venezuelaB

Jimmy Wales shows an endangering photo at Wikimania 2015

Anonymous photographer in Venezuela, per Jimmy Wales’ speech at Wikimania 2015.

This individual had to leave the country after they started receiving threats, also threats to their family. This individual was not politically active, but was only uploading photographs.

Niloy Chakrabarti, whose pen name was Niloy Neel – the fourth Bangladeshi blogger hacked to death by Islamists – was killed August 7, 2015.  Before his death, he had requested police protection. Two suspects have been arrested, one of them out on bail after being charged with attempted murder of blogger Asif Mohiuddin in 2013.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is the original piece (below), as of May 2015. Updates are added at the top.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Samira Salih al-Nuaimi – lawyer and human rights activist. In 2014 she used Twitter to criticize the Islamic State for destroying mosques and shrines. Kidnapped and tortured for five days, then executed by firing squad.

free raif

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi

Raif Badawi – blogger, created website Free Saudi Liberals, jailed in 2015 for “insulting Islam through electronic channels”.

Waleed Abulkhair – Raif Badawi’s attorney. Imprisoned.

Hamza Kashgari – jailed for Twitter posts about the Prophet’s birthday. Released in 2013.

Iman al-Qahtani – female Saudi journalist who covered the 2013 trial of Saudi dissidents Mohammed Fahad al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamidin. In Saudi Arabia, trials are not public, and women are not allowed in the same meeting room with men (this is prohibited “mingling”). Last message on Twitter, while trying to leave the country, saying she had been subjected to a travel ban. Disappeared in 2013.

Mohammed Fahad al-Qahtani – Saudi dissident (ACPRA). Imprisoned.

Abdullah al-Hamid – Saudi dissident (ACPRA). Imprisoned.

Mohammed al-Bajadi – Saudi dissident (ACPRA). Imprisoned.

Matrouk al-Faleh – Saudi attorney for ACPRA’s  Abdullah al-Hamid and his brother Issa al-Hamid. Imprisoned.

Abdulaziz al-Hussan – Saudi attorney for ACPRA’s Mohammad al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamid. Exiled in Indiana. Twitter.

Ananta Bijoy Das – Bangladesh, secularist blogger. Hacked to death by four attackers in masks.

Avijit Roy – blogger. A Bangladeshi-born US citizen. Stabbed to death.

Washiqur Rahman – Bangladesh, atheist blogger. Hacked to death.

Nguyen Van Hai, Ta Phong Tan, and Phan Thanh Hai – Vietnamese anti-corruption bloggers.  Jailed.

35 bloggers jailed in Vietnam.

A group of Ethiopian bloggers – jailed. Twitter.

Austin Tice – American freelance journalist missing in Syria. Twitter.

Four reporters in Myanmar/Burma – Unity Journal.

Ghazi Beji and Jabeur Mejri – Tunisia. Posting nude cartoons of Mohammed. Beji escaped to Europe, Mejri released from prison in 2014.

Philip Blackwood (New Zealand), U Tun Thurein and U Htut Ko Ko Lwin (Burma) – imprisoned for posting an image of Buddha wearing headphones to promote Buddha Bar. Facebook.

buddha bar arrest

Philip Blackwood arrested in Burma

Missing but for “wrong religion”, rather than internet activity:

Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yazigi
Syriac Orthodox Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim

Worklists

High priority

BLP, in prison or missing, without article in appropriate language

  1. check-mark1Alaa Brinji, Saudi  علاء برنجي https://www.amnesty.org/ar/latest/news/2016/03/saudi-arabia-journalist-sentenced-to-five-years-in-prison-for-tweets-latest-victim-of-ruthless-crackdown/ http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2016/03/160325_saudi_journalist_sentence_tweet http://anhri.net/?p=151212 http://ar.rsf.org/2015/09/11/saudi-arabia-arbitrary-detention-10-09-201548332-html/ https://features.hrw.org/features/HRW_2016_reports/140_Characters/index.html#en/alaa-brinji
  2. check-mark1Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, ar غولروخ إبراهيمي إيرائي، fa: گلرخ ایرایی  Iran check-mark1Arash Sadeghi fa:  آرش صادقی ar: أراش صادقي husband hunger strike freed http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38500746 #SaveArash
  3. check-mark1Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, Mauritania Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, محمد الشيخ ولد امخيطير  Mauritania blogger, sentenced to death for an article about Mohammad. H/T: Jimmy Wales Foundation.  aka Sheikh Mohammed bin Mohamed Ould Amajaitir  محمد الشيخ بن محمد ولد امخيطير   , Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed https://cpj.org/campaigns/pressuncuffed/mohamed-cheikh-ould-mohamed.php , plus eswiki & arwiki check-mark1
  4. Roya Saberinejad Nobakht, Iran , Farsi: رویا صابری نژاد نوبخت a British/Iranian, arrested at the airport when she went back to Iran to visit her parents in 2013, imprisoned  in Evin Prison, after she posted on Facebook that Iran was “too Islamic”. JIMAC, Guardian, Jimmy Wales Foundation, Independent, MEN.  Article on Farsi WP.
  5. Unity Journal, five journalists, Myanmar – Four reporters in Myanmar/Burma – Unity Journal.
  6. Lui Bo/Lui Por and Hong Kong booksellers,  Mighty Current publishing, Causeway Bay Books disappearances – Four individuals in Hong Kong believed disappeared by China: Gui Minhai, Lui Bo, Cheung Jiping, and Lam Wingkei .  They are associated with a bookstore and publishing house that produces books critical of China, and are listed here because of China’s lack of internet access.
  7. Bishops Boulos Yazigi  check-mark1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_(Yazigi) and Yohanna Ibrahim https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorios_Johanna_Ibrahim also ar (notability?) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/21/syrian-bishops-kidnapped-yazigi-ibrahim https://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%BA%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%BA%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%88%D8%B3_%D9%8A%D9%88%D8%AD%D9%86%D8%A7_%D8%A5%D8%A8%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%87%D9%8A%D9%85
  8. Bahareh Hedayat, Iran – FreeThe20 – stub article on enwiki  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahareh_Hedayat and a more complete one in Farsi. News coverage by some human rights organizations. release published 09/05/16
  9. check-mark1Blen Mesfin (Amharic: ብሌን መስፍን)  FreeThe20 – Ethiopia – member of opposition Semayawi (Blue የሰማያዊ ) Party. released but arrested again, see tweet by Tesfalem Waldyes, herself out of prison, http://www.africanews.com/2016/12/24/ethiopia-s-mass-release-of-detainees-excites-top-us-officials-call-for-more/
  10.  María Lourdes Afiuni Mora, Venezuela – FreeThe20 – enwiki: Detention of Maria Lourdes Afiuni https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detention_of_Maria_Lourdes_Afiuni eswiki https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar%C3%ADa_Lourdes_Afiuni articles in NYT, LATimes Guardian etc. now house arrest?
  11. check-mark1Bui Thi Minh Hang – FreeThe20 – released  http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/prominent-vietnamese-rights-defender-released-from-prison-02132017151825.html

The Russian stuff, some dups:

Pro-Russian

  1. check-mark1Igor Sychev, Russia Игоря Сычева ethnic Russian blogger from Kazakhstan Казахстан who moderated an unnamed social networking site that published a poll on whether the region should join Russia. Sentenced to 5 years in jail. H/T JWF. but is this really notable, plus not feeling good about this
  2. Yermek Tachibekov, Russia – Ермек Тайчибеков ,Тайчибеков, Ермек Кенесович  Kazahk language:Ермек Кеңесұлы Тайчибеков  Ермек Кеңесұлы Taychibekov pro-Russian blogger jailed/on trial in Kazakhstan.  Per Russian WP is supposed to be a Kazahk ethnic but speaks poor Kazakh with a Russian accent, taken for psych eval after expressing anti-Kazahk indepence viewpoits. “Another pro-Russian blogger, Yermek Tachibekov, is currently on trial in the southern Jambyl region for allegedly “inciting inter-ethnic hatred”. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/11/kazakhstan-jails-pro-russian-separatist-blogger-151119111401275.html kazh:FB  Ермек Тайшыбековті http://www.azattyq.org/a/kazakhstan_ermek_taychibekov/27189290.html  Ermek 4 years TayşıbErmek 4 years Tayşıbekovti blogger accused of judges, the general was sentenced to prison sentences.ekovti blogger accused of judges, the general was sentenced to prison sentences.http://www.azattyq.org/a/27421046.html apeal sup ct denied http://jasqazaq.kz/2016/06/18/zho-ar-y-sot-tajshybekovti-sha-ymyn-araudan-bas-tartty/ 

Anti-Russian/ Pro-Ukraine/ Crimea  – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35651119

  1. Andrei Bubeyev – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35651119
  2. Andrei Piontkovsky -exile – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35651119
  3. Rafis Kashapov – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35651119
  4. Vadim Tyumentsev – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35651119 Vadim Tyumentsev, Russia – criticized Russian military intervention in Ukraine  Вадим Тюменцев 5-year jail term in Russia for posts on YouTube and Vkontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook.

Kazahkstan land code protests – against China, they share border http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36163103 http://thediplomat.com/2016/04/protests-in-kazakhstan-over-land-code-changes/

  1. Max Bokayev – Talgat Ayan, Kazakhstan – Max Bokayev ( Макс Боқаев ) and Talgat Ayan ( Талғат Аян ) , Kazakhstan, sentenced on November 28, 2016 to 5 years after organizing protests on FB. JWFin Kazakh
  2. Talgat Ayan – Talgat Ayan, Kazakhstan – Max Bokayev ( Макс Боқаев ) and Talgat Ayan ( Талғат Аян ) , Kazakhstan, sentenced on November 28, 2016 to 5 years after organizing protests on FB. JWFin Kazakh

Moderate priority

BLP, formerly imprisoned, without article

  1. Abdulaziz al-Hussan, Saudi, expat?, enwiki a mess
  2. Esraa el-Taweel, Egypt, released but faces charges
  3. Matrouk al-Faleh, Saudi, released
  4. Mohamed Tamalt, Algeria, deceased
  5. Scott Richards held in Dubai, case dropped
  6. Souad al-Shammary, Saudi Arabia, released

Lower priority

  1. Ananta Bijoy Das, deceased, article needs work
  2. Hamid Buyabes, Kuwait, acquitted
  3. Hossein Ronaghi, Iran, needs update
  4. Htut Ko Ko Lwin, Myanmar, released
  5. Iman al-Qahtani, Saudi, stub
  6. Keywan Karimi, Iran, enwiki article weird
  7. Nadia Vera, Mexico, deceased
  8. Nazimuddin Samad, Bangladesh, deceased, stub, lots of ref
  9. Niloy Chakrabarti, aka Niloy Neel, Bangladesh, deceased
  10. Philip Blackwood, Myanmar, released
  11. Rubén Espinosa, Mexico, photographer, deceased
  12. Ruqia Hassan, Syria, deceased
  13. Sara al-Drees, Kuwait, acquitted–update
  14. U Tun Thurei, Myanmar, released
  15. Zahra Kazemi, iran, photographer, deceased, enwiki weird
  16. Washiqur Rahman, Bangladesh, deceased, notable?

U.S. government broken links

Connect in Wikidata:

    • Iranian poet, Fatemeh Ekhtesari ( فاطمه اختصاریcheck-mark1also ‘Fateme’ check-mark1
    • Mehdi Musavi (سید مهدی موسوی) Seyyed Mehdi Mousavi check-mark1
    • “Las Hijas de Violencia” on eswiki with Hijas de Violenciacheck-mark1
    • Delink Rasha Sharbaji political prisoner from director, check-mark1 رشا شربتجي , also add link, linkcheck-mark1

create infobox?

  • the kidnapped Syrian bishops
  • Mehdi Moosavi redirect to Mousavi
  • check-mark1Shifa Gardi, killed see links in comments

Triage

Has coverage:

  1. Abdullah al-Hamid
  2. Asif Mohiuddin
  3. Austin Tice
  4. Avijit Roy
  5. Faisal Arefin Dipan, Bangladesh, deceased
  6. Hamza Kashgari
  7. Nabeel Rajab
  8. Nahed Hattar, deceased
  9. Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani
  10. Mohammed al-Bajadi
  11. Nguyễn Văn Hải
  12. Raif Badawi, saudi
  13. Samar Badawi, Saudi
  14. Samira Salih al-Nuaimi, Iraq
  15. Sattar Behesht , Iran
  16. Tạ Phong Tần
  17. Waleed Abulkhair, Saudi, could be update
  18. Phan Thanh Hải, maybe simple
  19. Zone 9 bloggers (Ethiopia) (update?)
  20. Ghazi Beji and Jabeur Mejri, Tunisia

Not notable yet:

  1. Chaw Sandi Tun, Myanmar, released
  2. Majed Al-Anizi
  3. Abu Sin, released
  4. Tarek Alghorani, Syria, released expat

Review of “Privacy, Anonymity, and Perceived Risk in Open Collaboration”

Summary and comments on “Privacy, Anonymity, and Perceived Risk in Open Collaboration: A Study of Tor Users and Wikipedians”, by Andrea Forte, Rachel Greenstadt, and Nazanin Andalibi. Download PDF.

See also:

For anyone who missed this when it went around in October, it is worth reading in its entirety, although there is a lot of information packed into it. The premise is that there is an element of risk in open-source collaboration–for example, Bassel Khartobil, who disappeared after collaboration on the world heritage site at Palmyra, now destroyed by ISIS, or the anonymous Wikipedian of the year for 2015, who Jimmy Wales named “in pectore” for fear of reprisals. The researchers wanted to understand how these risks are perceived inside open-source movements by the users themselves. They did a series of structured interviews with users from Tor and Wikipedia, then used Atlas.ti software to identify the themes.

Continue reading

Transcript: Andrea Forte on anonymity

Wikimedia Research Showcase, December 21, 2016, “Editing Encyclopedias and other dangerous jobs” by Andreas Forte

anon01-editing-wwikipedia-and-other-dangerous-jobs[33:00] Andrea Forte: Okay. Hi there.  So, I’m going to be talking about something completely different. This is work that I’ve been doing for the past couple of years with my collaborator Rachel Greenstadt, who’s also on the hangout here and also PhD student Nazanine Andalibi.

So, this is not the title of the paper that we wrote about this study, but as I’ve continued to think about the kind of research that we’re doing on privacy-related issues in Wikipedia, this is how I’ve started to think about it. There’s risk inherent in participating online, and people who are working on seemingly mundane tasks are encountering this risk like anyone else online.

Continue reading

Timothy Snyder: “Scrub your computer”

Some lessons from history professor Timothy Snyder, a specialist on Eastern Europe and the Holocaust.

* Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

* Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

* Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.

dr-seuss-ostrich* Take responsibility for the face of the world. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

* Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.

* Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying.

* Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

* Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.

* Learn from others in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.

* Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.