Monday, June 29, 2009

Skewed incentives

One of the questions I've been asking myself in this new job is "How effective is Herdict at monitoring in real time filtering on the web?" This morning I walked into the office and one of the interns asked me if I had heard about Guatemala. I had not. At the risk of over simplifying a complex situation, it seems that the Guatemalan president has been implicated in a corrupt banking scheme in the country. Guatemala recently arrested a man for his twitter comment which undermined trust in the banking system.

Yesterday it seems that Guatemala blocked WordPress, a popular blogging platform. In the past month we have received no reports from Guatemala, then yesterday that jumped to nearly 40, almost all of which are pertaining to WordPress.

This was very exciting news for me, because it means that even in a small country, where we haven't seen much past activity, when filtering does occur, it's being reported. But then, should I really be excited when a country tries to stifle free speech on the internet? Feels like I have some skewed incentives.

An official post will be available here


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