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A OneWebDay Challenge

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, September 20 2007

Given how much the presidential campaigns are relying on the internet to get their message out, raise money and rally supporters, I wonder if any of them are planning to mark OneWebDay this Saturday. As Susan Crawford, the founder of OneWebDay, puts it:

It’s easy to take the web for granted. But it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on what the web could mean to humankind in the future. That’s the purpose of OneWebDay, held each September 22. There are substantial threats to the free flow of information online, all over the world. Many governments censor online content. (see opennet.net). Many people in developing nations can’t get online at all. We need to ensure that the internet used by future generations will be open and empowering — access to the internet is central to the future of humanity.

The idea behind OneWebDay is to encourage people to think of themselves as responsible for the internet, and to take good and visible actions on Sept. 22 that (1) celebrate the positive impact of the internet on the world and (2) shed light on the problems of access and information flow.

This isn't a hard thing to take note of, and I know all the campaigns would like us to think of them as "getting" the net. There are physical events happening all over the world, including several cities in the U.S., where they could have a presence. Or they could just post a video, as our friends at the Sunlight Foundation (which Andrew and I consult for) are doing (see below), explaining how their work expanding access to government information relates to the larger spirit of OWD. They could even issue a press release (although that wouldn't be all that webby, would it?). C'mon Trippi, Rospars, Daou, Finn, Turk, Tagaris, Carbone, Guerra, Ruszkowski, Phong, Wolf, Harbath, Fedewa, Tabor, Ferry, Lam, Lowen, and Jewell. Whaddya got?

Here's the Sunlight Foundation's video: