“Not enough people know about Internet censorship”
Weapons of Mouse Destruction is fighting countries that cut off their citizens’ Internet access by enlisting you to add your voice (and picture) to the fight. Help out and you may see your obscured face on a building, calling out censors.
“Not enough people know about Internet censorship,” says Raina Kumra, director of innovation for the Broadcasting Board of Governors and one of the poster children for Fast Company’s Generation Flux. To galvanize public opposition to censorship, she’s helped Saman Arbabi launch a global awareness campaign–dubbed “Weapons of Mouse Destruction”–which will plaster photos of users censoring themselves around the world.
The campaign has already brought in some heavy hitters: The artwork and logo was designed by Obama “Hope” poster creator Shepard Fairey and Twitter cofounder Evan Williams has lent his (covered) face to the initial set of photos.
Users are invited to upload a picture of themselves with the iconic two-handed censorship pose (or the iconic auteur framing an imaginary shot, depending on who you ask) to Facebook, Twitter, and via their website, WeaponsOfMouseDestruction.org. According to the press release:
This image is symbolic because it is a strong visual statement against censorship and it demonstrates solidarity for those who are oppressed under censorship. Covering everything except the eyes is also a way of protecting those participants that are living in countries with oppressive governments.
After the campaign reaches a critical mass of images, it plans to cover major cities and art venues with the photos, with the help of 2011 TED award-winning street artist, “JR,” who will lend the campaign his massive printing and posting resources.
Iran “is more afraid of its own people, than they are from any foreign enemy,” says Saman Arbabi, co-creator of the Iranian blacklisted Parazit, a Daily Show-like news parody program that has become wildly popular in Iran, despite being heavily blocked by the government. Arbabi, who is spearheading the campaign with the advisement of Kumra, argues that the eventual goal of the awareness campaign is two-fold.
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