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Submissions/New frontiers in digital censorship and circumvention for Wikipedia users

From Wikimania

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2017.

Submission no. 4015 - LE2
Title of the submission
New frontiers in digital censorship and circumvention for Wikipedia users
Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)
tutorial / workshop
Author of the submission

Deji Bryce Olukotun,

Gustaf Björksten

Language of presentation

Primary language is English. Submitter can also answer questions in French.

E-mail address


Country of origin
United States, Australia
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Access Now
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

Wikipedia editors surf on the frontiers of technological change. Yet threats abound to the open internet. New forms of censorship, which range from app and website blocking to full-on internet shutdowns, present numerous challenges for Wikipedia editors and users all over the world. In this session, we’ll identify these emerging threats in censorship, with an emphasis on site and app (e.g. Facebook, WhatsApp, Line) blocking. Once mapped, we’ll aim to equip participants with the tools to circumvent these forms of censorship whenever possible.

Our free 24-hour Digital Security Helpline works to protect users at risk and has identified many new forms of censorship. For example, we’ve seen manipulation of Twitter handles, the surreptitious blocking of pages by regulatory authorities, and Access Now’s #KeepitOn campaign (120 organizations from 51 countries) has recorded 56 government ordered internet shutdowns in 2016 alone. We’ll provide lessons and principles on circumvention that can help the information continue to flow. At the close of the session, we’ll open up the opportunity for Wikimedia staffers to discuss the organization’s thinking on anti-circumvention tooling, and what it means for editors and readers.

What will attendees take away from this session?

--New forms of online censorship, including site blocking, app blocking, and the increasing sophistication of internet shutdowns

--Ways to circumvent blocks through the use of new tools

--That circumvention is a process rather than an end state, that depends on localized conditions

Theme of presentation
Legal & Free Culture
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?


Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).

  1. RachelWex (talk) 21:53, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Amir É. Aharoni (talk) 13:40, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Cobblet (talk) 03:55, 10 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]