Esra’a Al Shafei is the founder of CrowdVoice.org, an open source platform that tracks voices of protest from around the world by curating information and crowdsourcing valuable data, such as eye witness videos, images, blogs, and a wide range of news reports in order to facilitate the spread of knowledge on current social justice movements worldwide.
Many people continue to endure restrictions imposed by repressive governments, which fear the amplified voices and legitimate aspirations of their own citizens. The world’s serial abusers continue to systematically deny their population basic rights, with violations including imposed censorship, limited access to information, and restricted free expression, to mitigate any potential challenges to the state’s or authority’s status quo. The voices of free expression add immense value in terms of not only furthering a particular cause but also in adding to the overarching narrative of change around the world. The Internet is saturated with videos, news, and pictures that bombard users with information out of the world’s most volatile regions, making it difficult to follow, synthesize, share, and to a certain extent, care, which effectively restricts the amount of value that can be extracted from the voices urging positive change.