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Venezuela: Blog Carnival and Freedom of Online Expression

Global Voices in Spanish would like to provide an incentive to blogging and to promote blogger networks through “Blog Festivals.” In this manner, GV in Spanish is helping to create original content with a certain level of reflection and analysis. The participating bloggers will benefit through greater visibility of their work by being featured on Global Voices. Here are the details for the second Festival:

Featured Country: Venezuela

The chosen site and geographic area of the second Blog Festival is Venezuela, which is known for the considerable amount of people who participate in online activism, and where we have a number of collaborators that can help publicize this virtual event. The majority of well-known bloggers can be found in the capital city of Caracas, and we hope that bloggers from the cities of Maracaibo, Valencia, Maracay, Barquisimeto, and others can also participate. Participation is not restricted to bloggers that exclusively write about the topic (see the next paragraph), as any blogger may participate.

Topic: Venezuela: Freedom of Expression on the Internet.

The emergence of new media and online social networks brings more possibilities for citizen expression. However, are these being fully taken advantage of in Venezuela? All of us like to express ourselves, but this is only the first step. Is there online dialogue? Do we listen or read one another or are there only group monologues that prevents a real gathering of ideas? What happens when the opinions encounter intolerance and/or exclusion? On the other hand, is freedom of expression a war horse for hidden interests? What about the groups that are not represented on the Internet? Is freedom of expression guaranteed on the Internet in Venezuela? What are users doing to protect their rights?

Participation:

Any Venezuelan blogger can participate by publishing a post about the topic on his or her own blog. This post must be original, in other words, the work of the blogger. It must not be copied from another source or published during a time outside of the period as stated by this open call. The structure, style, and length of the post is at the discretion of the blogger.

The focus of the topic is open. It can be one of the suggested questions or any other that the blogger considers important. Once the blogger has published the post for the Festival, then an email must be sent to juan.arellano [at] globalvoicesonline.org with the following information:

Name of the author
Name of the blog
Title of post
Permanent link or URL of the post

There is a badge available, which is the image included in this post, so that bloggers can place on their site to indicate that they are participating. Once the badge is place on your blogs, it must reference this post.

Once the period of participation has ended, the posts will be collected and summarized in order to publish a compilation post on Global Voices. Depending on the number of participants, some of the posts may not be included because of space. Any questions can be directed to the previously mentioned email address.

Schedule: The festival's activities:

- Open call, invitation, and promotion . Through this post and throughout the participation period.
– Period of participation: August 5-18
– Period of selection of participants’ posts and compilation for summary post. August 19022
– Summary post published on Global Voices in Spanish. August 23.

Note: This is not a contest, as there will not be winners or losers. It has to do with promoting contributions, collaborations, and testimonies about the topic, as a way to put together a wide and varied panorama about the topic of freedom of expression on the Internet in Venezuela.

We look forward to your support, collaboration, and participation.

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