Today is One Web Day!

Founded by Susan Crawford in 2006, One Web Day aims to highlight the critical importance of protecting the values and principles of an open, participatory web. From the official site:

OneWebDay was founded by Susan Crawford, cyberlaw scholar, former Board Member of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and current technology policy advisor to President Obama. According to Ms. Crawford, “Earth Day was the model when I founded OneWebDay in 2006. In 1969, one man asked the people to do what their elected representatives would not: take the future of the environment into their own hands.” Today, a worldwide citizens’ movement has put the environment front and center politically. According to Crawford, “peoples’ lives now are as dependent on the Internet as they are on the basics like roads, energy supplies and running water. We can no longer take that for granted, and we must advocate for the Internet politically and support its vitality personally.”

This is a cause any Wikimedian can appreciate and understand – they live it every day.  Millions of people access Wikipedia and the Foundation’s sister projects daily, and hundreds of thousands of small (or large) edits pile up thanks to the tireless work of editors and volunteers from all over the world.  By increasing the overall amount of high quality information, in hundreds of languages, Wikimedians are working to reduce the digital divide and provide high quality, free information.

Although editing Wikipedia or its sister projects can be easy, the act itself is nothing short of brave.  Millions around the world still cannot edit or access our projects. Thousands of volunteers are building language projects for their peers who are otherwise unable to author or contribute due to internet access barriers or due to political censorship.  And Wikipedians are never shy to tackle the toughest and most challenging topics in human history, not to mention the task of writing neutral, high quality information about emerging news.

On this One Web Day we are especially excited to recognize our enormous volunteer force, and the millions of other brave contributors to free knowledge around the world.  We thank them, and we’re looking forward to an infinite number of One Web Days in the future.

Jay Walsh, Head of Communications