Tracking Global Online Censorship (formerly known as Onlinecensorship.org) is a resource for the research and advocacy communities—as well as the public at large—to learn more about the policies and practices of commercial content moderation and the phenomenon of platform censorship.
Onlinecensorship.org was originally founded in 2012 as a joint project between the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Visualizing Impact to capture user experiences with content takedowns. In 2014, we were the proud winners of the Knight News Challenge. Now, as public awareness of wrongful content takedowns has increased, we’re transitioning from our original mission to serve as an information hub with original content and research from our allies around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are you?
Tracking Global Online Censorship is a project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, generously funded with a grant from the Swedish Postcode Foundation. The project was co-founded as Onlinecensorship.org by Jillian York of EFF and Ramzi Jaber of Visualizing Impact and was a winner of the 2014 Knight News Challenge.
Is this site affiliated with any social media platforms?
No. We do, however, check in from time to time with social media platforms to verify information such as that contained in our guides to appealing content decisions.
Why are you doing this?
We seek to provide a resource for people seeking information about content moderation and its effects on freedom of expression, as well as the impact of regulatory and policy decisions on speech. We do this by providing our own original research and commentary, and curating content from key allies, popular publications, and other vetted sources.
How do you select sources for your “Track an issue” page?
Most of the sources we include in our “Track an issue” section are organizations that we work with in some capacity or another. Many of them are trusted allies with which we collaborate on campaigns and other efforts. Other sources are mainstream or niche media publications with a strong track record reporting on content moderation and speech issues, or academic researchers whose work focuses on these areas.
What can I do if my content was removed or my account was suspended from a platform?
If you believe that your content was wrongfully removed from a platform, or that your account was wrongfully suspended, you should visit our guides on how to appeal content decisions.
What if I can’t access Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. from my browser? Whose fault is that? What can I do about it?
If you can’t access the service at all, most likely that company is not trying to block you. Instead, the problem could be caused by one of any number of things. Perhaps the site is experiencing technical problems. Otherwise, it might be the result of filtering, which can come in many forms. A site may be filtered by whoever controls Internet access at your office, school, café or wherever you are currently using the Internet because they don’t want you accessing certain sites or content. Or perhaps your Internet service provider (ISP) is blocking the service. In some countries, government authorities block certain social media services or instruct ISPs to do so. All of these are forms of filtering.
How can I support your work?
You can support EFF’s work here.