TED Talk by Global Voices Co-Founder Rebecca MacKinnon

Global Voices co-founder Rebecca MacKinnon, says citizens must hold corporations accountable in order for the internet to evolve in a “citizen-centric” manner. In a TED talk on July 12, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland she describes how the internet has become a primary communication channel between citizens and governments, but warns that there is a corporate layer of “internet sovereigns” between the two.

Just as corporations have not held back from polluting the environment or employing young children on their own, she says, they can not be trusted to develop or preserve an internet that is sufficiently open and protective of free expression. We've learned how to hold governments accountable (somewhat) but what does citizen and consumer advocacy related to the internet look like?

Rebecca explores these issues further in her forthcoming book Consent of the Networked.

Our second co-founder Ethan Zuckerman gave a TED Talk in July 2010 called “Listening to global voices”. Both Ethan and Rebecca sit on the Board of Directors that leads Global Voices.

TED stands for “Technology Entertainment and Design” and the conferences are devoted to “ideas worth sharing”. Videos of the unique short-form presentations given by TED luminaries are shared online and viewed by millions of people worldwide. Volunteers add subtitles in multiple languages.


  • Bishakha Datta

    Am so pleased to see this – in total agreement. Another dimension of this is the unknowing conversion of ‘citizens’ or ‘netizens’ into censors. For example, when a user complains about a video on YouTube, and that video is blocked under community guidelines (http://www.youtube.com/t/community_guidelines), that user has become part of that site’s eyes and ears, deciding what other users can see or not see. Unfortunately, users don’t perceive this simple action as an act of or contributing to censorship. Similarly, when a site takes down a post, users are not given the details: did 1 user ask for it to be blocked? 100 users? 1000 users? What was the precise nature of the complaint? Corporate accountability on the internet, specially in the context of freedom of speech/expression will mean looking at all this and more.

  • […] libre de la entrada “TED Talk by Global Voices Co-Founder Rebecca MacKinnon“, escrita por Solana Larsen el 13 de julio de […]

  • Vita Milla

    What youre saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand


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